Telecom industry body hails open access green energy reforms – pv magazine India


The Cellular Operators Association of India has welcomed the lowering of the green power open access transaction limit from 1 MW to 100 kW under the Electricity Rules 2022 (Promotion of Renewable Energy through a green open access).

The Electricity (Promotion of Renewable Energy through Green Open Access) Rules 2022 issued by the Department of Energy allow small consumers to also purchase renewable energy through a open access.

The regulation lowered the open access transaction limit from 1 MW to 100 kW for green power. Thus, any consumer who has contracted a sanctioned demand or load of 100 kW or more will be eligible for free access to green energy. Captive consumers will not be subject to any load limitation.

The reforms will boost open access to renewable energy among telecommunications service providers (TSPs) who have not been able to effectively use renewable sources for mobile towers due to the 1 MW connected load threshold. The Cellular Operators Association of India, which has spoken out about this regulatory bottleneck, has welcomed the reforms.

“Each telecom tower has an independent electrical connection and consumes around 3 to 5 kW, much less than 1 MW. As a result, COAI member TSPs are not able to use renewable sources efficiently. Although the tower sites put together consume much more globally,” said COAI Managing Director SP Kochhar. “From a practical point of view, considering the distribution and spread of mobile towers and limited open space available at the tower site, an onsite net solar metering solution has practical deployment limitations. Therefore, to deploy renewables on a larger scale, our member TSPs need renewable energy solutions that can only be provided on an open-access basis.

Kochhar said that the telecommunications industry has, however, requested the Ministry of Energy and various national electricity regulatory commissions and the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission to allow open access to telecommunications infrastructure. telecoms for solar/renewable energy without any policy restrictions on minimum usage or allowing telecom operators to aggregate their electricity demands across multiple pylons.

The rules provide certainty on the cost of free access to green energy for consumers. These charges include transmission charges, routing charges, cross-subsidy surcharge and standby charges. “Capping the increase in the cross-subsidy surcharge along with removing the additional surcharge will not only incentivize consumers to go green, but will also address issues that have hampered the growth of open access in India,” said the Department of Energy.

Approval for Open Access will be granted within 15 days of request.

The tariff for green energy is determined separately by a competent commission. It includes the average purchase cost of the bundled electricity from renewable energy, cross-subsidy charges, if any, and service charges covering the distribution licensee’s prudent cost to supply the energy. green to consumers.

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