The government had said in March that delays in construction activities for renewable energy plants on account of disruption of the supply chains due to coronavirus would be seen as a force majeure event.
Removing uncertainty of upcoming renewable energy projects worth about Rs 3.5 lakh crore, the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) on Thursday announced that all renewable energy projects currently being constructed will get a five-month extension for meeting their deadlines for completion. “This blanket extension, if invoked by the RE developers, will be given without case-to-case examination and no documents/evidence will be asked for such extension,” the MNRE said. The government had said in March that delays in construction activities for renewable energy plants on account of disruption of the supply chains due to coronavirus would be seen as a force majeure event.
Relief under this provision would be available for disruption of construction activities taking place between March 25 and August 24. A force majeure means extraordinary events or circumstance beyond human control. “This is a positive move by MNRE and showcases its intent of helping the sector tide over these tough times by providing the developers sufficient extension timelines,” said Pinaki Bhattacharyya, co-founder and CEO of the Indian arm of Canada-based Amp Energy.
As on July 31, the installed renewable energy capacity was 88 gigawatt. Around 34 GW is under various stages of implementation and 34.5 GW under various stages of bidding. “The last few months have been a difficult period for developers due to various challenges, and the extension gives comfort to lenders and financial institutions that projects commissioning would not face liquidated damages or bank guarantee encashment.” said Shravan Sampath, CEO, Oakridge Energy, which is a rooftop solar installer.
Citing the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the supply chain and delays by other parties in land allocation and building associated power transmission network, ReNew Power has unilaterally terminated the power purchase agreement (PPA) signed with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for a 265 mega watt Tamil Nadu-based wind project. On similar grounds, Acme Solar has also cancelled the PPA with SECI for solar projects scheduled to sell electricity at Rs 2.44/unit — the lowest-ever solar tariff discovered.