MNRE Revokes Blanket Extension for Renewable Energy Projects in the GIB Area
Earlier, the Ministry had granted an extension of 30 days for these projects
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has revoked its order granting an extension of 30 days for the commissioning of renewable energy projects, for which the transmission infrastructure lies in the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) area, and the project commissioning has been delayed due to the non-completion of transmission infrastructure.
The Ministry said that the implementing agencies should make decisions based on the merits of the projects, and if there are grounds for extension, such extension will be granted, but only for the necessary period.
In February last year, MNRE informed that all renewable energy projects under implementation, wholly or partly located in the priority or potential territory of the GIB, would be granted a 30-day extension on the scheduled date of commissioning after the date of judgment by the Supreme Court.
MNRE has stated that developers who do not have tied-up land for projects in the GIB area cannot claim to be affected by the issue.
Developers who have failed to apply to the three-member committee appointed by the Supreme Court for the clearance of the line will not be eligible for an extension. A 15-day grace period has been provided for developers to apply for an extension to the committee.
Further, if developers have not been able to apply to the committee for valid reasons, they should apply to MNRE for an extension.
If the developers have applied for clearance of their transmission lines before the committee and the line has been approved, they will be given the necessary time by the implementing agencies to complete the project.
If a developer has submitted an application to the committee and is awaiting their decision, no forceful measures will be taken against the developer. Instead, an extension will be granted until the committee decides, and subsequently, to complete the project.
If the committee established by the Supreme Court has rejected the developer’s application for an extension of the commission deadline, the developer can apply to MNRE, which will review the case’s merits. The implementing agencies can then approach the committee on behalf of the developer to reconsider the decision.
Also, MNRE has conveyed to the implementing agencies that the extension should be granted to developers only if they can demonstrate that they have taken sincere steps to implement the project, and it could not be implemented for reasons beyond their control.
In February this year, the Central Electricity Authority proposed that power transmission lines of up to 33 kV voltage levels passing through the GIB area should be underground. Power transmission lines above 33 kV voltage level passing through the GIB area should be overhead lines installed with bird flight diverters, according to the draft ‘Construction of Electric Lines in the GIB Area Regulations, 2023.’
Earlier, the Supreme Court had noted that the installation of bird diverters in the habitat of the endangered GIB, as proposed by the special committee appointed by it, was not complete and had ordered Rajasthan and Gujarat to assess the total length of overhead transmission lines in the region.
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