What Is Open Access Electricity?

ABHAY | Post Date : 25-Dec-2019

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Open Access enables heavy users with more than 1 MW connected load to buy cheap power from the open market. The concept is to allow the customers to choose from a number of competitive power companies, rather than being forced to buy power from the local utility monopoly. It not only helps the industrial & commercial consumers by ensuring regular electricity supply at competitive rates but also enhances the business of power markets. Open access helps consumers meet their Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPOs) as well. A consumer with bulk load can avail the benefits of cheap and green solar power by either purchasing through the rooftop solar installation in its premises or buying from an offsite solar farm under open access. Once the consumers are given the choice to purchase power from the open market, it will automatically lead to competitive pricing of electricity making electricity cost go down.

What is Intra-State Open Access and Inter-State Open Access?

When buyer and seller are located in the same state, then it is called an Intra-state transaction. In this case, the open access charges comprising transmission losses and charges wheeling losses and charges (if applicable) and cross-subsidy of that particular state are applicable. However, when the buyer and seller are in located in different states then it is called as an Inter-state transaction. In this case, apart from the open access charges applicable in intra-state transactions, Point-of-Connection (POC) charges and losses of the regional grids where the buyer and seller are located are also applicable..

Who can avail open-access?

Any consumer having connected load of 1 MW and above can avail open access. However, the State Electricity Regulatory Commission formulates and regulates the open access provisions at the state level, so the basic eligibility to avail open access may vary from state to state. While most of the states have still kept 1 MW as the minimum load to participate in open access, states like Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh have reduced it to 0.1 MW. Thus, primarily the industrial and commercial consumers like office complexes, hotels, hospitals, shoping complexes and other large establishments can make use of Open Access.