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.

Key points:

  • The rules underpin a system of transmission access which is termed as a General Network Access in the inter-state transmission system. It will provide flexibility to the States as well as the generating stations to acquire, hold and transfer transmission capacity as per their requirements. 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 not 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.
  • States will be able to purchase electricity from short term and medium term contracts and optimize their power purchase costs.
  • Rules specify clear roles of various agencies involved in the transmission planning process. The Central Electricity Authority shall prepare a short-term plan every year on rolling basis for next 5 years and perspective plan every alternative year on rolling basis for next 10 years. The Central Transmission Utility shall prepare an implementation plan for inter-State transmission system every year on rolling basis for up to next 5 years which will take into account aspects such as right –of-way and progress of the generation and demand in various parts of the country.
  • The rules specify how the existing LTA would be transitioned into General Network Access. The rules also outline the recovery of GNA charges from the users of transmission network and assign the responsibility of billing, collection and disbursement of inter state transmission charges to the Central Transmission Utility.
  • Rules have enabled that the transmission capacity can be sold, shared or purchased by the States and generators. The rules prescribe that excess drawal or injection over the GNA capacity sanctioned shall be charged at rates which are at least 25% higher and this will ensure that the entities do not under-declare their GNA capacity.

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