MNRE: No Commissioning Date Extension Beyond Six Months for Renewable Energy Projects

Implementing agencies must justify the need for extension beyond six months with documents


The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has clarified that the extension provided by implementing agencies on account of the Covid-19 pandemic should in no case be more than six months, including the five-month blanket extension given earlier.

The Ministry said that if the implementing agencies feel the need for an extension beyond six months, they should  make a reference for consideration of MNRE with due justification and supporting documents. The implementing agencies will not grant such extensions on their own.

In February this year, MNRE issued a notification denying requests for another five-month extension for commissioning renewable energy projects, stating that these extensions would not be granted routinely in the future. Even though a blanket extension was provided previously, further extensions may be given by implementing agencies only in exceptional cases.

The Ministry had received requests for another five-month extension for commissioning renewable projects beyond the five-month extension between March 25, 2020, and August 24, 2020, amid the pandemic-induced lockdown.

Previously, the Ministry had issued a notification asking the implementing agencies to treat the lockdown as a ‘force majeure’ event. The Ministry had received requests from developers and renewable energy associations to treat the pandemic as a force majeure event for the grant of extension in the scheduled commissioning date of projects.

On April 17, 2020, the Ministry had issued a blanket commissioning time extension for all renewable energy projects under construction following the nation-wide lockdown. The extension was for the period of the lockdown plus 30 days for normalization. The stakeholders, however, were not happy with the 30-day extension and wanted it to be at least six months to tide over the challenges of labor mobilization and other logistical constraints as a result of the lockdown.

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