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Maharashtra allows open access for fossil fuel-based captive power plants

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Fossil fuel-based (CPPs) with power demand of 1 MVA (mega volt-ampere) and above are now entitled to open access in Maharashtra. For this, (MahaVitaran) has laid down stringent conditions, including installation of special energy metre, joint metre reading, payment of additional demand charge of Rs 20 per unit during unplanned outages, 15-minute time block to be considered for energy accounting and billing for CPP outside Maharashtra or outside its area of supply.

In case of distribution open access, transmission loss would be deducted and transmission charges at Rs 0.29 per unit would be recovered by MahaVitaran. On the other hand, the open access consumer would also have to apply for transmission open access, if the injection point or the drawal point is connected to an EHV (more than 33 kV) network.

Transmission charges at Rs 0.29 per unit would be recovered by Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company (MahaTransco). The total installed capacity of CPPs in the state is 2,000 Mw. Of this, 1,300 Mw are embedded CPPs, where the CPP and the captive power user is in the same premise and wheeling of power is not required. Non-embedded CPPs have 700 Mw capacity. A MahaVitaran official said the recent circular would be largely applicable to embedded CPPs.

  • In case of distribution open access, the transmission losses would be deducted and transmission charges at Rs 0.29 per unit would be recovered by MahaVitaran 
  • Open access consumers would have to apply for transmission open access in case either the injection point or drawal point is connected on EHV (more than 33 kV) network

According to MahaVitaran, it would be the responsibility of the generator to supply the generation data. In case of non-cooperation or non-submission of generation data in 15-minute time block by the relevant authority like the state-level despatch centre, the consumer would be required to pay the monthly bill as per its tariff without any credit adjustment. Further, the open access consumer and the generator would have to comply with MahaVitaran’s metering requirement in totality.

Ajoy Mehta, managing director of MahaVitaran, told Business Standard: “We will like to encourage CPPs add to generation capacity in the country. However, the interest of common and regular consumers of MahaVitaran should be protected.” He reiterated that when the generator was outside the state or outside the area of MahaVitaran's supply, the 15 minutes reading, as submitted by MahaVitaran, would be considered for energy accounting and billing. The open access consumer would be allowed credit of energy at the drawl point after deduction of applicable losses from the energy injected in the grid.

Mehta said the generation credit units would be determined after adjustment of applicable loss to the energy injected in the MahaVitaran grid and would be adjusted/set off with the consumption in the corresponding 15-minute time block and the bill would be raised for a month accordingly.

In case 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 open access consumer during the said 15 minutes time block would be considered as overdrawl from MahaVitaran's grid and would be billed at the rate applicable from time to time.

Further, in such situation, the open access consumer would be liable to pay electricity duty, tax on sale of electricity on such excess energy consumed from the MahaVitaran grid.

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