Gujarat Issues Draft Green Energy Open Access Rules

Highlights :

  • These draft rules crafted by the GERC allow short-term green energy open access upto one month.
  • The new regulations also mandated different timelines for discoms to provide open access services.
Gujarat Issues Draft Green Energy Open Access Rules

The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Authority (GERC) has come up with its latest draft regulations for Green Energy Open Access. It has put the draft regulations for public scrutiny and asked the power stakeholders and the general public to send their comments on these by the end of July 26. The new rules have been named Draft Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (Terms and Conditions for Green Energy Open Access) Regulations, 2023.

The new draft regulations proposed the Green Energy Open Access benefits for three sets of power consumers. It included long-term consumers who want such services anywhere between 12 years to 25 years. Another category is the medium-term users, who can opt for this for over three months and up to three years. The GERC, however, has also allowed short-term users who can opt for this service, even for one month at a time.  

These rules apply to power consumers with a contracted demand of up to 100 kilowatts (KW). It also bars applicants from entering into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) or any other bilateral agreement with more than one person for the capacity applied. The applicants have to submit an undertaking to the concerned authorities in this regard, the rules read. 

It has also fixed the timeline for several services under the green energy open access rules. It said that for captive consumers, after receiving all required documents from the applicant, the discoms and the commission should verify the captive status of the generator and consumers within three months. It also asked the applicant to submit the long-term green energy open access agreement within 13 days related to the transmission and wheeling agreement. 

These rules said that the consumers must be given an acknowledgment of receipt of the application on the same day digitally. It has also asked the application receiving authority to forward the application to the concerned discom within the next three days. It also obligates the discoms to make their decisions within seven days of their system study. 

The draft rules also designated the Gujarat State Load Despatch Centre (SLDC) for short-term services. It, meanwhile, designated the State Transmission Utility (STU) as the nodal agency for granting long-term and medium-term services. The rules also specified that green energy open-access applications would be preferred over general open-access applications. Among the green energy open access applications, the rules asked for giving the highest priority to the long-term consumers followed by the medium-term consumers. Meanwhile, short-term consumers would be given the last priority in providing this service, the rules said. 

The draft rules have also specified the non-refundable fees for the applicants. It has prescribed a fee of Rs 50,000 for long-term services, Rs 25,000 for medium-term services and Rs 5,000 for short-term services. These rules also discussed the procedure for applying for the day-ahead green energy open access transactions. It asked the applicants to apply with the central portal for day-ahead green energy open access in the standard application format. 

What is unique in these rules?

In the last few months, several states have drafted rules related to open access to green energy. It comes after the Union government introduced the rules and amendments for green energy open access last year. The Union government reduced the eligibility limits for open access to 100 KW to increase the adoption of green energy.

Some states, like Kerala and Rajasthan, have discouraged short-term procurement of green power through open access in their rules. In its draft rules, Kerala had mandated procuring the power for at least one year. However, in its draft rules, Karnataka recently allowed short-term green power through this route. 

With this progressive rule, Gujarat also allowed short-term power access through this route and even reduced the time limit to as low as one month. Moreover, the Gujarat rules also talked about the procurement of green energy from the day-ahead market, a topic that was not dealt with in other draft rules of many other Indian states. 

Such rules with more liberty for open access for renewable energy and with more clarity also assume significance as Gujarat is one of the leading states regarding the highest installed capacity of renewables. According to the Central Electricity Authority’s (CEA) latest data, Gujarat had the second highest installed renewables capacity at 20GW in India. It is second only to Rajasthan, which has around 22 GW of renewable capacity. 

"Want to be featured here or have news to share? Write to info[at]