Unconditional access to network likely for power companies

Unconditional access to network likely for power companies

India is considering an overhaul of its electricity transmission planning to give power companies nationwide unconditional access to the network. The government also proposes to allow states to trade their excess transmission capacities with other states, a senior government official said.

At present, generating companies apply for long-term access based on their supply tie-ups, while medium-term and short-term transmission access is acquired within the available margins. Based on the quantum of applications, the power transmission addition is planned.

The government now proposes to shift to ‘General Network Access’ (GNA), which seeks to provide right to transmission access and flexibility to all generators and drawing entities, the official said.

The move is aimed at encouraging investments in the generation and transmission sectors, while moving towards a predominant market-determined pricing structure.

“The GNA will provide transmission access to companies without any riders. Any company registered for transmission access will have the right access to the transmission network without the need to specify the injection point and drawing point,” he said.

The Union power ministry is working on GNA rules, which are likely to be issued soon after vetting by the law ministry. While the rules propose to change the electricity transmission planning system, power regulator Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) would issue the detailed regulations, the official said. Under the proposed GNA, power transmission capacity addition planning will be based on projec tions made by states. GNA capacity of one state will be allowed to be traded with another on mutually agreed terms. The official said power plants will get all India access to the grid. In a major deviation from the present system of taking transmission access, power plants will not have to specify their target beneficiaries, giving complete flexibility in sales.

“The rules ensure reliable transmission access to power utilities irrespective of their power purchase contracts or tie-ups. These also empower state power distribution and transmission companies to determine their transmission requirements and build them. Also, states will be able to purchase electricity from short term and medium term contracts and optimise their power purchase costs. The rules will enable the country to develop deeper power markets,” the official said.

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