In another step back on the Open Access issue in Maharashtra, MSEDCL recently rolled back the banking provision for renewable energy generators opting for open access in the state.
A recent circular released by MSEDCL has proposed new rules for banking of power generated by renewable sources and sold under open access.
The key provisions regarding banking in the new circular are:
- If energy is supplied in excess of consumption for every 15 minute time-block, such energy will lapse (will not be allowed to be banked)
- If energy is consumed in excess of supply for every 15 minute time-block, the applicable tariff will be that of a Temporary Power connection.
The banking related provisions are mentioned below:
6.4 It is necessary that the consumer / person who so ever has opted for Open Access shall
use the entire power contracted of Open Access Generator and ensure that the
consumption of the consumer / person in every 15 minutes time block shall match with
the energy received at the drawal point during corresponding 15 minutes time blocks.
6.5 Whenever the consumer / person is unable to match every 15 minutes time block
consumption with the energy received at the drawal point during corresponding 15
minutes time blocks, then in such situation:
6.5.1 If the net energy received at the drawal point every 15 minutes time block exceeds
the net energy actually consumed during the corresponding 15 minutes time block,
the excess energy received during the said 15 minutes time block shall be treated as
lapsed and the consumer shall neither be permitted banking of such excess energy
nor shall be paid for the same, unless there is a separate agreement for banking or
sale/purchase of this over injection.
6.5.2 The facility of banking will be applicable in case of self use only; if permissible as per
GOM policy/ MERC Order/Regulations.
6.5.3 In the reverse situation, if the net energy received at the drawal point every 15
minutes time block is less than the net energy actually consumed during the
corresponding 15 minutes time block, the excess energy consumed by the consumer
/ person during the said 15 minutes time block shall be considered as over-drawal
from the Grid and shall be billed at the rate as may be applicable from time to time
for the energy charges payable by a consumer obtaining Temporary Power (for other
purposes) supply from MSEDCL. Further, in such situation, the consumer / person
shall also be liable to pay “Electricity Duty”, “Tax on Sale of Electricity”, etc. on such
excess energy consumed from the Grid.
This will effectively bring an end to open access by wind power producers in Maharashtra, as 60-70% of the power is produced in the ‘high season’ (roughly corresponding to monsoons). In the present scenario wind producers bank the excess energy produced in the high season, to be consumed throughout the year. If such a facility is not allowed, then wind generation in the state will not remain feasible, unless power is sold to the Discom. Note that the new rules for banking of power apply only to renewable energy generators under open access (not to captive users).
The second provision, under which the consumer will be charged at “temporary power’ connection rates, rather than the regular industrial connection rates will increase the cost of power substantially. (HT Industrial Tariff is Rs 5.27/unit while the Temporary Tariff is Rs 10.12/unit. See Tariff Order for details)
In effect, this provision will end ‘open access’ in Maharashtra for renewable energy generators.
Past articles on the Open Access issues in Maharashtra: