Road block to open access
If you are a large consumer and do not have sufficient roof space, put your solar plant somewhere else where the low cost land is available, inject your electricity/electrons in to the grid and withdraw the equivalant amount of energy from the grid at the point of your consumption.. Thats the basic idea of having opoen access of power in the electricity system. Off course you have to pay the network uses charges to the Discoms/Transcos of which network services you are availing..This facilitates the investments in solar projects by the commercial & Industrial (C&I consumers and use the low cost power for their captive use. In case some body else is putting a solar plant and selling electricity to C&I consumer, it is known as third party sale.
While India’s solar installations are reaching to the tune of 50 GW, the solar installations under the open access category are only 209 MW. It shows that a big market of solar installations through the C&I consumers is on a complete roadblock due to exorbitant, charges imposed by the Discoms as open access charges. Off course the Discoms are eligible to charge the consumers for the usage of their network, however the open access charges are so high, that the net landed electricity cost is at par with the grid electricity tariff. It does not have any motivation for the C&I consumer to explore alternative options for power procurement, beyond the Discom Supply.
Typically from the point of injection to the point of consumption, the charges applicable include the Wheeling charges, banking charges, electricity duty, cross subsidy surcharge, additional surcharges, transmission losses, distribution losses, electricity duty, and some other miscellaneous charges. These charges in total account for about Rs. 2-4/kWh in case, the point of injection and point of drawl are within the state. If the point of injection is in some other state e.g. Rajasthan, and point of drawl is in Rajasthan, these charges go as high as Rs. 6/kWh. The road block isn not only because of high open access chatges, but some of the Discoms have made the open access permission so difficult that it takes years to get the open access permissions. In some of the cases the applicants are denied the open access due to inadequate transmission or wheeling capacity. The states such as Maharashtra and tamilnadu, which has highest number of open access consumers, have highest open access charges. While some of the states such as Chattisgarh, and Orissa, have favourable open access policies and much of the open access solar installations are taking place in these states.
While the C&I consumers are having their net zero targets, ,open access is the only way through which can achieve their net zero targets, and there is a need to overcome the roadblocks made by Discoms in meeting the netzero targets of these consumers. The companies such as tata motors, Mahindra, Infosys have pledged themselves for net zero targets by 2030, and struggling to get the open access of electricity at their facilities.