The Ministry of Power has issued Guidelines for Resource Adequacy Planning Framework for India, in consultation with Central Electricity Authority (CEA). These Guidelines were issued on 28th June, 2023.
The guidelines aim at guaranteeing the availability of sufficient electricity to fuel the country’s growth. These guidelines establish a framework for the advance procurement of resources by distribution companies (DISCOMs) to meet the rising demand for electricity in a cost-effective manner.
The guidelines incorporate an institutional mechanism for Resource Adequacy, ranging from the national level down to the DISCOM level, to ensure the availability of resources to meet the demand at each stage. They emphasize the need to assess new generation capacities, energy storage, and other flexible resources well in advance to reliably meet future demand growth at an optimal cost.
In order to fulfill the long-term capacity requirements of DISCOMs, the guidelines propose that at least 75% of contracts should be long-term, as per the long-term National Resource Adequacy Plan (LT-NRAP) or as specified by the respective State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs). Medium-term contracts are suggested to range from 10% to 20%, while the remaining power demand can be met through short-term contracts. To bridge any shortfall in capacity required to meet short-term Distribution Resource Adequacy Plans (ST-DRAP), the National Load Dispatch Centre (NLDC) will conduct bids to procure additional resources, aggregating the individual plans of DISCOMs.
The guidelines also stipulate the timeframe within which the procurement process by DISCOMs must be completed for each type of generation, ensuring that the procured capacity becomes available when needed to serve the projected load.
To support these guidelines, the CEA will publish the LT-NRAP, providing the Planning Reserve Margin (PRM) required at the national level to meet demand reliably. The NLDC will prepare the Short-term National Resource Adequacy Plan (ST-NRAP), considering the maintenance schedules of existing generating stations. Each DISCOM will then develop its own Long-term Distribution Licensee Resource Adequacy Plan (LT-DRAP) for a period of 10 years, which will be vetted by the CEA. Similarly, State Load Dispatch Centers (SLDCs) will prepare Short-term Distribution Resource Adequacy Plans (ST-DRAP) for their respective states, taking into account the actual availability of generating stations and the Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO) mandated to promote renewable energy capacity additions.