The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has eased the requirements for renewable energy projects to get connectivity to the Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS), according to new draft procedures released on this matter.
According to the new Detailed Procedure for “Grant of Connectivity to Projects Based on Renewable Sources to Inter-State Transmission System”, an entity issued the Letter of Award by, or in a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with, a Renewable Energy Implementing Agency or distribution licensee consequent to tariff based competitive bidding will be eligible for Stage-II connectivity.
The bank guarantee (Conn BG) for Stage-II connectivity has been reduced to Rs 50 lakh (Conn BG-1) and Rs 3 crore (Conn BG-2) for connectivity quantums of 132 kV to 330 kV. The bank guarantee amount for quantums up to 300 kV earlier was Rs 5 crore. For 400 kV, Conn BG-1 will be Rs 50 lakh and Conn BG-2 Rs 6 crore.
Depending on whether the entity satisfies certain criteria, the grantee for Stage-II connectivity will be required to complete the dedicated transmission lines and pooling substations on or before the scheduled date of commercial operation of the generation project or six months after the scheduled date of commercial operation. The connectivity shall be revoked and Conn-BG1 and Conn-BG2 encashed in the event that the grantee is unable to adhere to the timelines.
On the specific request of the connectivity grantee, and for the purpose of optimal utilisation of transmission infrastructure, the Central Transmission Utility (CTU) may, after consultation with the connectivity grantee(s) concerned, carry out rearrangement or shifting of the connectivity across different bay(s) of the same substation, according to the draft amendments.
A Stage-I connectivity grantee or applicants seeking Stage-I and Stage-II connectivity simultaneously may also be able to share a transmission line with another Stage-II connectivity grantee, provided there is a duly signed agreement between the two to do so.
CERC has invited comments, suggestions and objections from stakeholders on the provisions proposed to be amended on or before August 16, 2020.