MNRE Waives off Hard Copy Requirement for RE Project Invoices

MNRE Waives off Hard Copy Requirement for RE Project Invoices

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) released a notification yesterday, stating that for RE projects which were scheduled to be implemented April 1, 2021, onwards, the requirement of submitting physical hard copies has been waived off and the implementing agencies have been directed to accept soft copies of invoices.

The notification is meant as a measure of relief for renewable energy projects, and this arrangement will continue for a period to be decided in due course depending on the COVID-19 related developments that take place in the coming weeks. The ministry’s action came in response to the receipt of representations seeking relaxation due to a resurgence of COVID-19 which led several states/UTs to issue instructions restricting activity.

The aforesaid representations were carefully examined by the ministry, which said that although the central government has not announced 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 invoicing w.r.t. renewable energy generating stations.

The ministry states that during this soon-to-be defined period, in the cases involving Joint Meter Reading (JMR) where the signing of JMR is difficult, soft copies of invoices based upon self meter readings by RE power generators, duly substantiated by photographs of the meter reading/ downloaded meter data, will be accepted. Additionally, in those cases where such self-meter reading is not possible either, implementing agencies may choose to pay on the basis of the invoice for the same month of the previous year or the invoice for the previous month, if it is lower. This will, however, be subject to subsequent truing up based on actual meter reading.

Once this period is over, normal invoicing will be resumed, and within 15 days of the last date of such period, RE power projects will be required to submit hard copies of invoices for this period for necessary adjustment, if any, in the subsequent bill. The other agencies, especially the end-procurers of implementing agencies, have also been requested to follow this mechanism for effective implementation.

Of late, the ministry has been allowing many relaxations to RE projects on account of the operational disruptions caused by the on-going pandemic. Recently, it released a notification stating 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 April 1, 2021, will be eligible to claim time-extension for completion of their project activities.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.