COVID-19 lockdown: Govt gives blanket extension of timeline for renewable projects

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Published: April 21, 2020 1:00 AM

The move comes after renewable companies made representations to the government to allow a blanket extension for six months to overcome supply-side disruptions in completing the projects.

There are around 8-9 GW of solar projects and 2-3 GW of wind projects which are in pipeline and scheduled for commissioning this year.There are around 8-9 GW of solar projects and 2-3 GW of wind projects which are in pipeline and scheduled for commissioning this year.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has given all renewable projects in the pipeline a blanket extension in the deadline for the period of lockdown plus additional 30 days for normalisation, for which they will not have to submit any evidence or proofs for examination.

The move comes after renewable companies made representations to the government to allow a blanket extension for six months to overcome supply-side disruptions in completing the projects.

The MNRE in a notification dated April 17 said: “The renewable energy implementing agencies may grant extension of time for RE projects, on account of lockdown due to Covid-19, equivalent to the period of lockdown and additional 30 (thirty) days for normalisation after end of such lockdown. Thus, the extension will be for the period of lockdown plus 30 (thirty) days. This will be a blanket extension – there will be no requirement of case-to-case examination. There will be no need to ask for any evidence for extension due to lockdown.”

State renewable energy departments, including agencies under power and energy departments, dealing in renewable energy may also treat the lockdown as force majeure and may consider granting appropriate period of extension on account of such lockdown, the notification said.

The MNRE, on March 20, had announced that “delay on account of disruption of the supply chains due to spread of coronavirus in China or any other country” would be seen as a force majeure event. Project developers will not have to pay any penalty for missing commissioning deadlines, if they can prove that consignments got delayed by global restrictions in freight movements stemming from Covid-19.

A force majeure means extraordinary events or circumstance beyond human control.

All projects in pipeline are expected to avail of this benefit. According to the MNRE, there are around 33 GW of capacity in the pipeline. There are around 8-9 GW of solar projects and 2-3 GW of wind projects which are in pipeline and scheduled for commissioning this year.

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