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Tuesday, Feb 03, 2004

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CERC orders `free' transmission line availability

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Feb. 2

THE Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) on Monday issued orders to ensure discrimination-free access of inter-state transmission lines to generation companies as well as distribution companies.

PowerGrid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) owns inter-state transmission lines. The transmission company will have to upfront provide data on its Web site on the transmission costs from one place to another. Also, it would be required to inform the availability of transmission facilities across the country.

Currently, there is little redundancy in the transmission networks in the country. Hence, the regulator's order is likely to make little difference to the power sector in the short term.

The Commission has divided `open access' customers into two categories — long term and short term. CERC categorised long-term customers as those intending to access inter-state transmission links for a minimum period of 25 years, treating existing beneficiaries of regional transmission system as long-term ones. All others have been designated as short-term customers, those whose access will not exceed one year at a time.

The Commission has also prohibited discrimination between `open access' customers and self-use by an integrated entity, such as a state electricity board.

Bidding has been introduced for short-term customers where there is deficit in transmission capacity.

The CERC has designated the Central Transmission Utility as the nodal agency for long-term transmission access while Regional Load Despatch Centres (RLDC) have been assigned the task for short-term transmission.

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