Ministry of Renewable Energy Includes NHPC in its Dispute Resolution Committee

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) announced that it had added NHPC Limited under the purview of its Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) and Dispute Resolution Mechanism (DSM).

The MNRE said it decided to include the state-owned hydropower generator under the purview of its dispute resolution system as it is also one of its authorized renewable energy implementing agencies.

The ministry had previously issued an order to set up the committee to resolve wind and solar developers’ disputes with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and NTPC Limited, back in June 2019.

Background: 


The decision to set up the system came following requests from solar and wind power developers seeking the ministry to set up a dispute resolution mechanism to sort out the numerous issues that are both within and outside the scope of contractual agreements.

The disputes under consideration are usually between the developers and SECI and NTPC. After thorough consideration, the MNRE agreed to set up an independent, transparent, and unbiased Dispute Resolution Committee.

In September 2019, the MNRE had released the blueprint for the dispute resolution committee. This committee would be responsible for considering all kinds of cases of appeal against the decisions given by SECI or NTPC.

The committee would deal with cases pertaining mostly to time request extensions along with various other common issues. These would be cases wherein time extension decisions by SECI are challenged based on contract terms.

According to the ministry’s framework, the committee would comprise three distinguished members and would be set up with the approval of the minister of the MNRE. The upper age limit for DRC members is 70 years. The members of the DRC will be selected from the Delhi NCR region and will not have any conflict of interest in any way. The DRC will assist in the resolution of conflicts in solar and wind projects, programs, and those that are being implemented by SECI or NTPC.

In December 2019, MNRE amended its dispute resolution mechanism order. In the amendment, the ministry tried to clarify further the clauses relating to the grant of time extension for projects affected by two or more unforeseeable circumstances.

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