Open access to power distribution

Open access to power distribution
Published: 28 December 2005

To encourage captive private power generation in India, an enabling environment to the Electricity Act 2003 is being worked out to harness power from such sources.
’’The fact remains that most of the existing capacity is tied up under long-term power purchase agreements, leaving little scope of availability of firm supply for open access consumers,’’ the CERC contended.
In this scenario, harnessing of surplus captive generation seems to be a plausible solution. The Act provides an enabling environment to this effect by allowing open access to captive generating plants without the requirement of payment of cross subsidy surcharge.
The Forum of Regulators recently constituted a Group to deliberate on the issues relating to operationalization of open access in distribution and harnessing of captive generation. The Group recommended that in order to encourage captive generation to come to the grid, various charges levied on them should be rationalized.
Several applications for grant of open access have been received in various States. As many as seven cases of open access have been approved Aditya Cement Chitorgarh, DCM Sriram and Hindustan Zinc in Rajasthan, another three in West Bengal -- Bhushan Ltd., Indal, Electrosteel Castings Ltd.) and one in Himachal Pradesh (namely Gujarat Ambuja).
Consumer choice is one of the important objectives sought to be achieved by the Electricity Act, 2003. The framework of open access in distribution as provided for in Section 42 of the Act seeks to ensure choice to the consumer to procure power from any source of his choice.