MNRE Extends Commissioning Date of RE Projects Due to Covid-19

Highlights :

  • MNRE giving a time extension of six months for the RE projects commissioning.
  • Relief has been given to the projects having their SCD on or after 1st April 2021.
MNRE Extends Commissioning Date of RE Projects Due to Covid-19

As the nation is struggling to overcome the second wave of the Covid-19, various sectors have been affected along with several projects which couldn’t get commissioned on their stipulated dates. One of them is the Renewable Energy (RE) sector and the RE projects, and now the Ministry of New and Renewable Resources (MNRE) has extended the date of commissioning for those projects. 

MNRE has issued a memorandum to allow the time extension in the scheduled commissioning date (SCD) of RE projects considering disruption due to the second surge of COVID-19 and associated lockdown. 

The ministry notifies that while there are no Central Government instructions for a countrywide lockdown, since the beginning of April 2021 several States/UTs have taken various measures like night curfew, imposition of section 144, weekend lockdown, etc which may have affected RE projects. 

As a measure of relief to RE projects, it has been decided that RE projects, being implemented through Implementing Agencies designated by the MNRE or under various schemes of the MNRE, having their Scheduled Commissioning Date (SCD) on or after 1st April 2021, will be eligible to claim time-extension for completion of their project activities. The total time extension on account of the second wave of COVID-19 shall be restricted to six months, including the five months blanket time extension already granted by MNRE. No further time extension shall be considered on this account.

RE projects can apply to the concerned implementing agency for claiming time extension in project commissioning. Provided such time extensions are not going to be used as a ground for claiming termination of Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) or for claiming any increase in the project cost including Interest During Construction (IDC) or upward revision of the tariff. 

Although, the actual quantum of time-extension shall be decided in due course depending on the COVID-19 related developments that take place in the coming weeks. On receiving the application for a time extension, implementing agency shall not initiate any coercive action on the project for the recovery of penalty on delayed commissioning, till the time-extension request is decided upon. The most common tactic adopted has been encashment of bank guarantees till now. 

MNRE notified the concerned dignitaries of the organizations including, SECI, NTPC Limited, Secretaries of Power, Energy & Renewable Energy Departments of State Governments, UT Govts. and administrations for considering to issue similar instructions for RE projects under them, based on their specific circumstances. You can read the notice here

This relief has been decided after various requests for a time extension on account of the resurgence of COVID-19 from project developers and stakeholders, and subsequent issuance of instructions by States/UTs.

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Bhoomika Singh

Bhoomika is a science graduate, with a strong interest in seeing how technology can impact the environment. She loves covering the intersection of technology, environment, and the positive impact it can have on the world accordingly.