MERC has ordered MSEDCL to extend the Financial Closure and Scheduled Commercial Operation Date for Clean Wind Power’s 75.6 MW wind energy project
The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has in its latest notification ordered the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MSEDCL) to extend the Financial Closure (FC) and Scheduled Commercial Operation Date (SCOD) for Clean Wind Power (Bhavnagar) Private Limited’s (CWPBPL) 75.6 MW wind energy project on account of Force Majeure events.
According to the request for selection documents, the financial closure was to be achieved within seven months from the date of signing of the power purchase agreement (PPA). In this case, the date for financial closure was February 17, 2019, – and the SCOD was January 17, 2020.
CWPBPL which is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) promoted and incorporated by Hero Wind Energy (HWEPL) had filed the petition with the state commission with the following prayers:
- Declare that the events narrated in the Petition prevented the CWPBPL from achieving Financial Closure for the Project as scheduled are in the nature of Force Majeure events affecting the Project and that the Petitioner cannot be held liable for the same;
- Direct the Respondent/ MSEDCL to extend the time period to achieve Financial Closure corresponding to such Force Majeure period affecting the Project;
- Declare that the events narrated, which are preventing the CWPBPL from achieving SCOD of the Project as scheduled, are in the nature of Force Majeure events affecting the Project and that the Petitioner cannot be held liable for the same;
- Direct the Respondent/ MSEDCL to extend the time period to achieve SCOD for the Project corresponding to such Force Majeure period affecting the Project;
- Grant ex-parte ad-interim relief against the Respondent/ MSEDCL by restraining it from taking any coercive steps against the Petitioner, including from invoking the Performance Bank Guarantee during the pendency of the present proceedings.
Clean Wind Power had cited delays in acquiring land for the project, and the approval to get grid connectivity from Maharashtra Energy Development Agency’s (MEDA) registered developer. As per the protocol in the state, it is not the duty of the bidder to obtain grid connectivity. It is obtained after the execution of the ‘right of use’ agreement for power evacuation with the state’s project developer, the petition noted. The engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for this project are Suzlon and Suyog Urja Private Limited was Suzlon’s vendor, who is a registered developer with MEDA.
In its final order, the commission stated that the case has been partly allowed and that due to delay in obtaining grid connectivity, a cut-off date for the Petitioner viz. Clean Wind Power (Bhavnagar) Private Ltd. has been extended up to July 24, 2019, on account of Force Majeure event.
Consequently, Scheduled Commercial Operation Date stipulated in the Power Purchase Agreement is also extended from January 17, 2020, to June 20, 2020, i.e. by 158 days.
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