According to reports, Industrial consumers have welcomed the Supreme Court order allowing “open access” to power. They are now waiting for the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) to act on their applications to buy or sell power outside the state.
Companies that have invested in windmills to generate power say that the MSEDCL’s high handedness will now subside and enable to work towards power market reform. The SC recently dismissed the MESDCL petition seeking a stay on open access under the Electricity Act. The order on cross-subsidy issue is yet to come.
“We are involved in harnessing wind energy and have set up a plant at Dhule and Satara expecting the generation to be 70 MW units per annum. Our application for open access has been pending for two years. If the NOC is not given, we cannot sell power that is being generated by our units,” said Santosh Tupe, project head, Serum Institute of India Limited. The institute has sent repeated reminders to MSEDCL and Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission and have also complained to the Indian Wind Energy Association.
As per highly placed officials at MSEDCL, there are 20 applications from Pune, Mumbai and Nagpur for the open access scheme. In Pune division, 60 per cent of the MSEDCL’s annual revenue of Rs 5,400 crore is incurred by levying charges on industrial houses in the city and hence if they opt for the open access scheme the power utility would be affected.
This is a very important step in Panchabuta’s opinion as this will allow a lot of big customers of power to buy power in the open market as captive power producers will now be able to carry electricity under the Electricity Act 2003. The open access will allow for the purchase or sale of power by big consumers and producers.