MNRE Extends Commissioning Deadline for 7,750 MW of Solar Projects Under VGF Program

Out of this capacity, over 2.6 GW are currently under development


The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has once again amended the guidelines for the implementation of the viability gap funding (VGF) program for solar photovoltaic (PV) projects under National Solar Mission (NSM) Phase-II.

These amendments will apply to 750 MW of grid-connected solar PV under Batch-I NSM Phase-II, 2,000 MW of grid-connected solar PV under Batch-III NSM Phase-II, and 5,000 MW of grid-connected solar PV under Batch-IV NSM Phase-II.

This time, the MNRE has given a six-month extension to those solar projects being developed under the VGF program, which have been set up within deadline of 24 or 25 months, but formalities of completion could not be completed due to delay in getting land or delay by government agencies.

According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, out of the capacities mentioned above under the three separate batches (Batch-I, Batch-III and Batch-IV), over 2.6 GW are currently under development. These projects have been facing delays as the state nodal agencies have been asking the developers for mandatory registration.

MNRE has directed Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to grant six-months extension to such projects so that they do not become unviable. This is the fourth time MNRE is amending guidelines for VGF solar projects.

The MNRE has stated that only those projects that are completed or are on the verge of completion, be awarded this extension. If a project is partially complete, the part which is complete will be awarded extension for commissioning, the remaining will be removed from the contract.

Previously, to expedite the process of development of these projects, the MNRE had removed the requirement for registration with the state nodal agency and obtaining their approval for project implementation.

In June 2017, MNRE, for the first time, amended the guidelines for the implementation of 5,000 MW VGF program for solar under NSM Phase-II Batch-IV. The MNRE then amended the guidelines for the second time in September 2017.