Sunday, October 3, 2010

CERC (Standards of Performance of inter-state transmission licensees) Regulations, 2010

Transmission lines to be available 90% of time
Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has come out with its performance standards for all interstate transmission licensees. These regulations will be applicable to all such licensees, irrespective of whether their ownership and control is with government or private parties. Among other things, these guidelines delineate strict norms for Transmission System Availability, the highlights of which are:
  • The transmission system availability shall be calculated element-wise on a monthly basis, in the format provided in the CERC (Terms and Conditions of Tariff) Regulations, 2009.
  • The transmission elements under outage for which the transmission licensee is not responsible shall be deemed to be available to the grid.
  • The element-wise monthly availability figures, not counting tower collapse, should not be fall short of the following figures:
      • AC Transmission line: 90% of the time
      • Sub-station bay: 90% of the time
      • Static VAR Compensator: 90% of the time
      • Series Compensator: 90% of the time 
      • HVDC (Back-to-back Stations and bi-pole links): 85% of the time
    Restoration time for failures delineated
    Through its notification, the CERC has also mandated that certain standards be maintained with respect to the restoration times for different types of failures within a transmission system by all inter-state transmission licensees. These norms are as follows:
  • Insulator failure: 2 days
  • Tower after collapse by Emergency Restoration System (ERS): 12 days
  • Tower after collapse
      • in plain terrain: 30 days
      • in the river bed: 50 days
      • in hilly terrain: 50 days
  • Snapping of phase conductor
      • in plain terrain: 2 days
      • in hilly terrain: 3 days
  • Failure of earth wire
      • in plain terrain: 2 days
      • in hilly terrain: 3 days 
  • Failure of Inter Connecting Transformers (ICTs): Restoration of the faulty transformer by spare transformer to be completed in 120 days.
Methodology for payment of compensation
Failure by inter-state transmission licensees to maintain the standards of performance specified in the recent regulations brought out by the CERC would make them liable for compensatory payments. The methodology delineated by the commission for such remittances is being carried here:
  • The affected party has to, first, file a petition with the commission against the licensee because of which it has suffered a loss, on account of non-adherence to the stipulated standards of performance.
  • After providing reasonable opportunity to the transmission licensees for being heard, the commission would determine the compensation payable, which needs to be remitted within a reasonable period of time.
  • However, compensation claims shall be entertained only if filed within a period of sixty days from the end of the month when the availability of the transmission system falls short of the availability specified under the regulations.
    Reporting requirement imposed on licensees
    Under the CERC (Standards of Performance of inter-state transmission licensees) Regulations, 2010, all licensees have to furnish information on their respective levels of performance achieved, the number of cases in which compensation was paid, if any, and the aggregate amount of the compensation provided.
  • This information, in the format prescribed, has to be submitted to the commission twice during each financial year, by October 31 and April 30, covering the periods April to September and October to March, respectively.
  • All transmission licensees are also required to display on their websites, the actual performance against the required standards, on a monthly basis, as well as the aggregate amount of compensation paid.

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