COVID-19 RE India Update: MHA Permits Construction Of Renewable Energy Projects In Its Revised Guidelines

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The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued revised guidelines in which it has permitted the construction of renewable energy projects. It has asked states & UTs to ensure their implementation at ground level and create awareness about them in public. New guidelines were made in an attempt to restrain the coronavirus epidemic in the country during the lockdown.

The revised guidelines were released following the government’s decision to extend the lockdown till 3rd May 2020. To mitigate hardship to the public, select additional activities that will come into effect from 20 April 2020, The ministry in its order stated.

“However, these additional activities would be operationalized by states, union territories, and district administrations based on strict compliance to the existing guidelines on lockdown measures”, the ministry said in the order.

The power generation, transmission, and distribution will remain functional. Operations of land ports for cross land border transportation of essential goods including petroleum products and LPG will also be allowed.

Furthermore, oil and gas exploration and refineries will be allowed to operate. 

The order also instructed that These guidelines will not apply to containment zones demarcated by states and union territories.

The order highlighted that “Before operating these relaxation state/uts/district administration shall ensure that all preparatory arrangements with regards to social distancing are in place”.

Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) on 20.03.2020 has issued the circular on-time extension in the scheduled commissioning date of RE projects considering disruption of the supply chains due to the spread of coronavirus in China or any other country as a force majeure event. The circular stated that Ministry of Finance has clarified that the disruption of the supply chains due to spread of coronavirus in China or any other country should be considered as a case of natural calamity and Force Majeure Clause (FMC) may be invoked, wherever considered appropriate, following the due procedure. 

Recently, The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has extended the deadlines for the approved list of models and manufacturers (ALMM) by the next 6 months to provide aid to the renewable energy firms from considering disruption of the sector due to the spread of coronavirus pandemic. The list includes solar photovoltaic (PV) modules and solar PV cells. The last date for enlistment for both ALMM List-I and ALMM List-II is extended from March 31, 2020, to September 30, 2020. 

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