On Wednesday, the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) announced a timeline extension in the scheduled commissioning date (SCD) of renewable energy projects considering disruption due to the second wave of COVID-19 cases. MNRE said that all under-construction renewable energy projects which were to be commissioned after April 1 will be eligible to claim time-extension for completion of their work. The extension has been granted to all renewable energy projects being developed under various Central government agencies. “The actual quantum of time-extension shall be decided in due course depending on the COVID-19 related developments that take place in the coming weeks,” it added.
The MNRE order, reviewed by FE, clarified that “such time-extensions are not used as a ground for claiming termination of power purchase agreement (PPA) or for claiming any increase in the project cost”.
Last year the ministry had provided a blanket extension of 5 months to all RE projects on account of Covid 19. 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.