MNRE Grants Timeline Extension for Solar and Solar-Wind Hybrid Projects
The extension applies to projects for which bids were finalized between March 9 and April 10, 2021
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has granted an extended completion time up to March 2024 for solar and solar-wind hybrid power projects, with bid submission dates falling between March 9 and April 10, 2021.
The time extensions have been granted in response to the representations received by the ministry from state governments and their agencies, which had issued bids with submission dates during that period.
The ministry previously had not granted the extension for such projects considering the central implementing agencies like NTPC, NHPC, and SECI did not have any projects with these bid submission dates.
State governments and renewable energy organizations under them have been asked to issue directions for time extensions to complete these projects.
Earlier, the MNRE had already provided extensions for projects bid out before March 9, 2021, and subsequently for projects with bid submission dates after April 10, 2021, but with project completion due before March 31, 2024.
However, MNRE had warned solar developers that time extensions granted to solar and wind-solar hybrid projects in the wake of COVID-19 and Basic Customs Duty imposition are not blanket extensions but are subject to case-by-case approval.
“While the MNRE has been proactive in accommodating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on project timelines, it acknowledges the need to evaluate each case individually to ensure the extensions are granted judiciously,” the ministry stated.
The time extensions come weeks after the government, in an unprecedented decision, directed public sector units to blacklist renewable energy developers that fail to complete projects on time.
The ministry has emphasized that the time extensions should only be granted to developers who have diligently pursued project implementation but have faced circumstances beyond their control, preventing project completion. Developers who have made no progress in implementing the awarded projects should not qualify for extensions, and cancellation of such projects may be considered.
To qualify for the extension, developers must demonstrate that they have taken measures to implement the project, such as acquiring land and placing orders for modules, the balance of the project, and electrical and other systems, among other critical components.