Govt seeks changes to wheeling regulations to limit sale & purchase of electricity via dedicated feeders

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ISLAMABAD: National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has been directed by Power Division to limit sale and purchase of electricity into national grid via dedicated feeders of 11kv lines and 132 kilovolts (kV).

The power division is seeking changes to Nepra Wheeling of Electric Power Regulations 2016 in this regard, reported an English daily.

The power division sent a letter to Nepra requesting procurement of electricity from producers generating power one megawatt (MW) by transmission and distribution companies.

According to an official, revisions to current regulations were required to guarantee system’s predictability and stability taking adequate power generation capacity into context undertaken by the government over the last few years.

This revision in rules would ease the sale and purchase of electricity, the official said.

As per current rules, every transmission licensee and distribution company (DISCO) needed to give open access to their transmission or distribution system and inter-connection services to contenders who are already connected or plant to be connected to the transmission and distribution network.

The new suggestions from Power Division seek rules restricting sale and purchase of electricity on dedicated feeders (132 and 11KV) for loads above one megawatt.

Also, the sale and purchased should be restricted to licensee of a distribution company and inter-disco trade not be permitted for a little while.

It has suggested interested customers already using this regulation be permitted to maintain this utility connection and pay appropriate charges for it.

Power Division stated if the power remains non-utilized by the buyers “banked energy should be allowed for a month after that the seller should either sell this energy to another buyer (other than Disco) or shut down the plant. It will not be mandatory for the Disco to buy this energy.”

It added if bulk customer was moved out of the consumer-base of a DISCO, the displaced capacity charge could get added to sale and purchase charges for a year or a fresh tariff be determined.

An ex-official from NEPRA stated the suggested revisions to wheeling regulations meant the government was limiting entry of swaying customers and other players into the national grid because of the threat of business being snatched from current network operators.

The power division noted the aim of 2016 regulations was to enable bilateral trade of energy between buyers and sellers excluding intercessors like Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) as a single buyer but not much progress took place due to specific observations of relevant stakeholders in response to this regulation.

Questions were raised over how wheeling producers in renewable energy sector would be able to supply power to private wheeling customers on bilateral basis without availing advantages of execution agreement or CPPA supported long-term power purchase agreements.