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What is Open Access ?

Open Access enables heavy users with more than 1 MW connected load to buy cheap power from the open market. The concept is to allow the customers to choose from a number of competitive power companies, rather than being forced to buy power from the local utility monopoly. It not only helps the industrial & commercial consumers by ensuring regular electricity supply at competitive rates but also enhances the business of power markets. Open access helps consumers meet their Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPOs) as well.

Open Access rights in India are governed by the Electricity Act 2003 which has laid down regulations for competition in the power market. Based on the location of the purchasing and selling entities, Open Access can be classified as follows:-

  • Inter-State Open Access: In this, the purchasing and selling entities belong to different states and they have to follow Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) regulations. The purchase rights under inter-state open access can be for Short Term i.e. for less than a month period, Medium Term i.e. for 3 months to 3 years period and Long Term i.e. for twelve to twenty-five years period.
  • Intra-State Open Access: As evident from the name, the purchasing and selling entities, in this case, belong to the same state. It follows State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) regulations. It can also be classified as Short Term, Medium Term and Long Term where the durations of these terms vary based on the regulations of respective states.