The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has announced that all renewable energy (wind and solar) projects under implementation as on the date of lockdown, i.e., March 25, 2020, shall be given a five-month blanket extension for completion.
The extension in timelines—from March 25 to August 24, 2020—will apply to all projects under implementation through MNRE-designated implementing agencies or under various schemes of the MNRE.
“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,” MNRE stated.
The MNRE had notified in March that delays in renewable energy plant construction due to Covid-19 prompted supply chain disruption would be considered as a force majeure event. The ministry added that it may grant suitable extension of time for projects, on account of coronavirus, based on evidences/documents produced by developers in support of their respective claims of such supply chain disruption due to spread of coronavirus in China or any other country.
“In the past five years, India, on an average, has imported solar cells and modules worth Rs 17,600 crore annually to meet the demand-supply mismatch. Imported solar modules meet 80 to 90% of the demand,” according to a report by Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).
Project construction was impacted severely as Covid-19 hit equipment supply chains and workforce availability.
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