System Operators in India play a critical role in maintaining the frequency of the grid, and
consequently protect the electricity infrastructure. Electricity Act, 2003 provides for three levels
of system operators,
Level 1: State Load Dispatch Centre (33)
Level 2: Regional Load Dispatch Centre (5)
Level 3: National Load Dispatch Centre (1)
In December 2013, India was able to achieve the target of One Nation, One Grid (“All India Synchronized Grid”).
The Central Government is empowered to establish NLDC, and has notified the establishment of the same in February 2009. The constitution and the functions of NLDC have also been prescribed by the Central Government. The NLDC is operated by a Government Company, i.e., POSOCO.
Functions of NLDC
The functions of NLDC include optimum scheduling and dispatch of electricity amongst the Regional Load Dispatch Centre. NLDC shall be the apex body for coordination between the five Regional Load Dispatch Centres. The Central Government has notified the National Load Dispatch Centre Rules, 2004 constituting and enumerating the functions of NLDC. The functions of NLDC are as follows:
- Supervision over the Regional Load Despatch Centres
- Scheduling and despatch of electricity over inter-regional links in accordance with grid standards specified by the Authority and grid code specified by Central Commission in coordination with Regional Load Despatch Centres
- Coordination with Regional Load Despatch Centres for achieving maximum economy and efficiency in the operation of National Grid
- Monitoring of operations and grid security of the National Grid
- Supervision and control over the inter-regional links as may be required for ensuring stability of the power system under its control
- Coordination with Regional Power Committees for regional outage schedule in the national perspective to ensure optimal utilization of power resources
- Coordination with Regional Load Despatch Centres for the energy accounting of inter- regional exchange of power
- Coordination for restoration of synchronous operation of national grid with Regional Load Despatch Centres
- Coordination for trans-national exchange of power
- Providing operational feedback for national grid planning to the Authority and the Central Transmission Utility
- Levy and collection of such fee and charges from the generating companies or licensees involved in the power system, as may be specified by the Central Commission.
- dissemination of information relating to operations of transmission system in accordance with directions or regulations issued by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission and the Central Government from time to time.
Constitution of RLDC
For better and integrated management of the grid in such a large and diverse Nation, the great have been divided into five regions which are as follows: 1. Western region 2. Northern region 3. Southern region 4. Eastern region 5. North Eastern region The Central Government has been empowered with the authority to make region wise demarcation of the country. The Central Government can also modify the region wise demarcation for the efficient economic and integrated transmission and supply of electricity and in particular to facilitate voluntary interconnection and co-ordination between various entities. The RLDC shall be a Government Company or any other authority or Corporation established or constituted by Central Act. The Central Government has notified POSOCO as RLDC.
Specifically, RLDC has been barred from engaging in the business of trading or generation of electricity. The act is silent on the issue whether any RLDC can enter into other business-like distribution and transmission of electricity. However, it is unlikely that RLDC will engage in this business due to its special role specified in the Act.
Section 28 (3) specifies the core function of RLDC which shall:
1. Be responsible for optimum scheduling and despatch of electricity within the region, in accordance with the contract entered into with the licensee of the generating companies operating in the region.
2. monitored grid operations
3. keep accounts of quantity of electricity transmitted through the regional grid
4. exercise supervision and control over the interstate transmission system; and
5. Be responsible for carrying out real-time operation for grid control and dispatch of electricity within the region through secure and economic operation of the regional grid in accordance with the grid standards and the IEGC.
In connection with the above, it may be mentioned that the Central authority has issued CEA (Grid Standards) Regulations 2010. Further, CERC has notified Indian Electricity Grid Code 2010.
Every person connected with the operation of power system shall comply with the directions issued by RLDC. In case the order issued by RLDC is primarily concerned with the intra-State matters, that is, transmission licensee of State Transmission Lines or any other licensee of the State or Generating Company (other than those connected to inter-state transmission system) sub-station in the state shall be issued through the SLDC that such directions are duly complied with the licensee or generating company or sub-station.
All disputes relating to the quality of electricity or safe, secure and integrated operation of the Regional Grid, the matter shall be adjudicated by the CERC. The direction of the RLDC shall be complied by, until the final order of CERC is delivered. Any entity not complying with the direction of RLDC can be made to pay penalty not exceeding Rupees 15 lacs.
- Powers delegated/Ministry of Power
- Functions of National Load Dispatch Centre (The National Load Dispatch Centre Rules, 2004)
- Functions of RLDC (Section 28, Electricity Act)
- Other functions
Other functions of POSOCO include congestion management, development of ancillary services, sharing of inter-state transmission charges and losses, renewable energy certificates (REC), energy saving certificates (ESCerts), Power System Development Funds, Disaster Management, Forum of Load Dispatchers (FOLD), maintenance of pool accounts, regulation of power supply and open access in inter-state transmission.
Constitution of SLDC
The State Government shall establish by notification, a centre to be known as State Load Dispatch Centre. The SLDC shall be a government entity. However, until the SLDC is established, the State Transmission Utility shall operate as SLDC. Other business of the SLDC
SLDC is barred from engaging in the business of trading in electricity. Whether SLDC can take up other businesses or not has not been discussed in the Act. However, it is advisable to avoid any conflict of interest, and not to enter in any other business related to the power sector.
Section 32 of the Act provides for the function of SLDC. SLDC shall be the Apex body to ensure integrated operation of the power system in a state.
The major functions of SLDC are as follows:
1. It shall be responsible for optimum scheduling and dispatch of electricity within a state, in accordance with the contract enter into with the licence or generating companies operating in the state.
2. It shall monitor grade operation;
3. It shall keep accounts of the quantity of electricity transmitted through the state grid.
4. It shall exercise supervision and control over the interstate transmission system;
5. It shall be responsible for carrying out real-time operations for grid control and dispatch of electricity within the state through secure and economic operation of the state grid in accordance with the grid standard and state grid code;
Finances of SLDC
SLDC may levy and collect such fee and charges from the generating companies and licensees engaged in intrastate transmission of electricity as may be specified by the state Commission.
Powers of SLDC
Section 33 of the Electricity Act specifies that:
“SLDC in a State may give such directions and exercise such supervision and control as may be required for ensuring the integrated grid operation and for achieving maximum economy and efficiency in the operation of power system in the state.”
However, this is not an absolute power. It is co-extensive with the powers of the National and Regional Load Dispatch Centre. The orders of NLDC and RLDC shall be umbrella orders within which the SLDC can issue orders.
Every entity connected with the operation of the power system shall comply with the directions issued by the SLDC, and the SLDC shall comply with the directions of the RLDC.
All disputes with reference to quality of electricity or safe, secure and integrated operation of the State Grid, or in relation to any other direction shall be adjudicated by SERC. The directions of the SLDC shall be complied while the decision is pending with the SERC. Failure of any entity to comply with the directions of SLDC may lead to a penalty of 5 lacs.