MNRE has issued Clarification on Time Extension in Scheduled Commissioning Date of Renewable Energy (RE) Projects considering disruption due to lockdown due to COVID-19.
The ministry had earlier provided a blanket extension of 5 months to all RE projects on account of Covid 19. The order stated that, the MNRE had issued directions to treat lockdown due to COVID-19, as Force Majeure. It was also instructed that all RE projects under implementation as on the date of lockdown, i.e. 25th March 2020, through RE Implementing Agencies designated by the MNRE or under various schemes of the MNRE, shall be given a time extension of 5 months from 25th March 2020 to 24th August 2020. This blanket extension, if invoked by the RE developers, was given without case-to-case examination and no documents/ evidence was to be asked for such extension.
Earlier MNRE had recevied the requests for providing further extension beyond 5 months. The ministry had issued the order saying, RE projects under implementation as on the date of lockdown, i.e. March 25, 2020, through RE Implementing Agencies designated by the MNRE or under various schemes of the ministry can seek to get a further extension beyond 5 months if granted by the implementing agencies in exceptional cases. It was clarified that the extension for the projects will be granted by the implementing agencies after due diligence and careful consideration of the specific circumstances of the case, and if allowed in terms of the provisions of the relevant contract.
Now, the ministry has further clarified that the total extension provided by implementing agencies on account of COVID-19 should in no case be more than 6 months including the 5 months blanket extension given by this Ministry vide its O.M. of 13.08.2020.
It also state, In case an implementing agency feels that there is a requirement to give extension beyond 6 months, it shall make a reference for consideration of this Ministry with due justification and supporting documents. No such extension shall be granted by the implementing agencies on their own.