MNRE blacklists developer over 500 MW solar park delay

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The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has blacklisted Mumbai-based Sai Guru Mega Solar Park Limited from taking part in any future tenders or working on government projects.

“Sai Guru Mega Solar Park, a special purpose vehicle of Pragat Akshay Urja Limited, has been blacklisted as it had failed miserably to execute the work relating to development of [a] solar [park] under the government’s scheme for [the] development of solar parks and ultra mega projects,” stated the ministry in a memorandum. The document also claimed the developer had refused to return Rs4.1 crore of financial assistance granted to it in connection with the park.

Sai Guru Mega Solar Park was listed as developer of a 500 MW generation capacity solar park planned in the village of Bhamer in Madhya Pradesh, according to a list of such facilities compiled by the ministry at the end of May.

However, a spokesman for the blacklisted company told pv magazine it is being unfairly blamed for an 18-month delay to development of the solar park that was caused by the Maharashtra state government.

Money has been spent

Under the terms of the solar park development plan, 20% of the electricity generated at the site must be purchased by Maharashtra state, the spokesman said. “It took one-and-a-half years to secure that permission,” he said. “Now we are waiting for an administrative sanction to be issued by the MNRE so we can proceed. They are saying because of us the project has been delayed but that is the wrong interpretation of what has happened.”

On the matter of the Rs4.1 crore of funding issued, the Sai Guru spokesman said the total cost of the solar park would be around Rs400 crore and the state funding granted to date could not be returned because it had already been spent on land approvals and other expenses.

“They are not giving us the chance to resolve the situation,” added the spokesman, “they are saying they want us to refund the money and close down the park. But we will resolve it. We’ll approach the minister and if that does not work we will use other forums. Now we’ve been blacklisted we have no other options left.”

Regulatory action

It is not the first time the ministry has taken action against developers. In January 2015, HBL Power Systems Ltd and Veddis Solar were blacklisted on the advice of state bodies for failing to execute projects. In August 2016, Emami Power Limited and Oriental Sales Agencies (India) Private Limited were excluded from participating in tenders for three years for malpractice associated with contracts awarded them by the NTPC under the second phase of the National Solar Mission.

Last month, Chandigarh Renewal Energy and Science and Technology Promotion Society (CREST) blacklisted Live Braille Wearable Solution for using poor quality material in solar panels installed at houses in the city. In April, CREST had ordered Live Braille to take remedial action and although the contractor did so, a review found the replacement modules also fell below standards and CREST refused to submit test certification.

That move came after CREST de-listed the 8 Minutes Solar (OPC) Limited business last year in connection with solar installation work.