Network based systems

Unconditional grid access likely for power companies


India is considering overhauling its power transmission planning to give nationwide utilities unconditional access to the grid. The government is also proposing to allow states to trade excess transport capacity with other states, a senior government official said.

Currently, production companies demand long-term access on the basis of their supply agreements, while medium- and short-term transport access is acquired within available margins. Based on the number of applications, the addition of power transmission is planned.

The government is now proposing to move to “General Grid Access” (GNA), which aims to provide a right of transport access and flexibility to all producers and pulling entities, the official said.

This decision aims to encourage investment in the production and transport sectors, while moving towards a predominant tariff structure determined by the market.

“The GNA will provide transmission access to businesses without any riders. Any company registered for transport access will have the right to access the transmission network without having to specify the injection point and the off-take point, ”he said.

The Union Energy Department is working on the GNA rules, which are expected to be released shortly after the Law Department’s approval. While the rules propose to change the electricity transmission planning system, the electricity regulator, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) would issue the detailed regulations, the official said. Under the proposed GNA, the planning for the addition of electricity transmission capacity will be based on projections made by the States. The RNG capability of one State may be exchanged with another on mutually agreed terms. The official said power plants will gain access to the grid for all of India. In a major deviation from the current system of access to transport, the power plants will not have to specify their target beneficiaries, offering total flexibility in sales.

“The rules guarantee reliable access to the transmission of electric utilities, regardless of their power purchase contracts or their connections. These also allow state-owned electricity distribution and transmission companies to determine and build their transmission needs. In addition, states will be able to purchase electricity from short and medium term contracts and optimize their electricity purchase costs. The rules will allow the country to develop deeper electricity markets, ”the official said.


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