Maximum 6 Months Extension for RE Projects in Exceptional Cases: MNRE

MNRE has offered clarification on the award of time extension for commissioning of under-development RE projects on account of COVID-19.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has offered further clarification on the issue of award of time extension for the commissioning of under-development renewable energy (RE) projects in the country on account of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown in the country last year. 

Via its order issued on August 13, 2020, the ministry had provided a blanket extension for all RE projects on account of COVID-19 for a period of 5 months. In this order, the MNRE had issued directions to treat lockdown due to COVID-19, as Force Majeure. It was also instructed that all RE projects under implementation as on the date of lockdown, i.e. 25th March 2020, through RE Implementing Agencies designated by the MNRE or under various schemes of the MNRE, shall be given a time extension of 5 months from 25th March 2020 to 24th August 2020. 

This blanket extension, if invoked by the RE developers, was given without case-to-case examination and no documents/ evidence was to be asked for such extension.

Then in February 2021, after receiving requests for further extension beyond 5 months on account of COVID-19, the ministry had issued an order stating that renewable energy projects under implementation as on the date of lockdown, i.e. March 25, 2020, through RE Implementing Agencies designated by the MNRE or under various schemes of the ministry can seek to get a further extension beyond 5 months if granted by the implementing agencies in exceptional cases.

It was clarified that the extension for the projects will be granted by the implementing agencies after due diligence and careful consideration of the specific circumstances of the case, and if allowed in terms of the provisions of the relevant contract. 

Now, the ministry has further clarified that the total extension provided by implementing agencies on account of COVID-19 should in no case be more than 6 months including the 5 months blanket extension given by this Ministry in August 2020. 

Furthermore, in case an implementing agency feels that there is a requirement to give an extension beyond 6 months, it shall make a reference for consideration to the MNRE with due justification and supporting documents. No such extension shall be granted by the implementing agencies on their own.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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