The Union Ministry of Power has promulgated the Electricity (Transmission System Planning, Development and Recovery of Inter-State Transmission Charges) Rules 2021. This paves the way for overhauling of transmission system planning, towards giving power sector utilities easier access to the electricity transmission network across the country.
The rules have enabled, for the first time, sale, share and purchase of transmission capacity by the states and generators. The rules prescribe that excess draw or injection over the GNA capacity sanctioned shall be charged at rates which are at least 25 per cent higher. This will ensure that the entities do not under-declare their GNA capacity. The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has been empowered to bring out detailed regulations on GNA in inter-state transmission systems.
At present, generating companies apply for long-term access (LTA) based on their supply tie-ups, while medium-term and short-term transmission access is acquired within the available margins. Based on LTA application, incremental transmission capacity is added. A number of sector developments, such as the increasing focus on renewable energy, and the development of the market mechanism, necessitated a review of the existing transmission planning framework based on LTA.
The rules underpin a system of transmission access, which is termed as a General Network Access in the inter-state transmission system. This provides flexibility to the states as well as the generating stations to acquire, hold and transfer transmission capacity as per their requirements.
The ministry said, “Thus, the rules will bring in rationality, responsibility and fairness in the process of transmission planning as well as its costs. In a major change from the present system of taking transmission access, power plants will now have to specify their target beneficiaries. The rules will 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 optimize their power purchase costs.”
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