National Open Access Registry (NOAR) Development
India’s power sector is witnessing a slew of reforms aimed at shaping a robust energy landscape for the country. Real-time management of demand-supply variation — to better respond to energy requirements and to e nable large-scale integration of renewable energy — is a key area of focus. The recent launch of the real-time market (RTM) platform for power trading is a landmark move in this direction. In a close follow up, the development of the National Open Access Registry (NOAR) has also been initiated. The NOAR development kicked off with a virtual signing ceremony, held on July 31, 2020, where Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) and the USAID announced the selection of a systems integrator for NOAR development. A consortium led by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been selected through competitive bidding for the development, implementation, and operationalization of a fully functional NOAR.
NOAR is regarded as the pivotal infrastructure needed to support smooth and dynamic real-time electricity market administration in the country. As India’s long-standing partner in the reform agenda, USAID has been supporting POSOCO for development of NOAR activity through its Greening the GridRenewable Integration and Sustainable Energy (GTG-RISE) initiative as a pilot on regional coordination and market redesign. GTG-RISE is a key Asia EDGE (Enhancing development and Growth through Energy) initiative implemented by Deloitte Consulting. Over the past three years, USAID’s GTG-RISE initiative has worked in close partnership with POSOCO and the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) to shape framework guidelines for regional coordination, evaluate market-based mechanisms to address real-time imbalances, and evolve consensus on the way forward. NOAR’s initiation is an outcome of this effort. “At present with India’s rapid stride in power sector reforms, automation of power systems
is essential and recent achievements including real time market will go a long way in this journey. Today’s momentous event — the kickoff of NOAR development — is the result of excellent teamwork by the Ministry of Power, POSOCO, CERC, and USAID’s GTG initiative said K.V.S. Baba, CMD, POSOCO. The sentiment echoed in the words of Karen Klimwoski, Deputy Mission Director (Acting), USAID/India: “Today’s ceremony marks the achievement of another significant milestone under the India-U.S. strategic energy partnership. The NOAR will go a long way in modernizing power systems and building a resilient and self-reliant power sector in India.”
NOAR is conceptualized as a centralized electronic platform to automate the short-term open access approval processes in the electricity market. Currently, state distribution entities do not very actively tap into reserves lying with other states/regions despite day-ahead and intra-day market mechanisms being available at power exchanges in India. NOAR will enable open access to realize its full potential through an integrated IT-based system that is accessible to all stakeholders, with functionalities for maintaining a centralized repository of information related to open access, inter-state corridor availability, interim approvals, and NOCs. This will greatly reduce the response time for open access approvals and enable the intra-day market to operate much more flexibly. Elaborating on the NOAR, Sanoj Kumar Jha, Secretary, CERC, stated: “NOAR is a major and long-awaited initiative, and that makes today’s signing ceremony an important occasion for all of us. The IT-based system will make things very easy for all stakeholders and avoid unnecessary litigations and hassles. I laud the leadership of Mr Baba and acknowledge the contributions of USAID to make NOAR possible.”
The development of NOAR is expected to complete in a year’s time and the system to go live in 2021. The enthusiasm and anticipation for NOAR was reiterated by all stakeholders present. In his address, Ghanshyam Prasad, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Power, Government of India, remarked on NOAR being “ a huge step in India’s ongoing journey of power market reforms. It will improve ease of doing business and most importantly will bring transparency in the system. Expeditious development and implementation of NOAR in what is one of the world’s largest synchronous power grid will be a moment of great pride for all stakeholders. I wish POSOCO the best and thank USAID for their support in all aspects of power market reforms .