MNRE Issues Advisory

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has advised states to extend project commissioning timelines for select solar projects. The extension will be applicable to solar projects that have been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances or when the delay is caused by the state.

In a letter directed to state and union territory authorities, Dilip Nigam, Advisor (National Solar Mission), MNRE, stated, “If there are delays of any kind on the part of the state government, such as land allotment, development of transmission or evacuation facilities, connectivity permission, or force majeure, the competent authority in the state may consider providing an extension of time.”

Commenting on the issue, an MNRE official said, “It is our duty to oversee the growth of the solar sector in India.”

“When developers delay projects knowingly, it is wrong on their part and there are provisions in the contract documents to penalize them. In situations like delays in securing land, transmission issues, and no objection certificates, a developer can’t be held responsible for these,”, stated the MNRE official.

This advisory may bring relief to companies like Adani Green Energy, Sahastradhara Energy, Pinnacle Air, Awadh Rubber Prop Madras Elastomers, Technical Associates and Sudhakara Infratech, whose power purchase agreements have been cancelled by the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation (UPPCL). According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, these six companies are developing solar projects totaling 80 MW in Uttar Pradesh.

Mercom has recently reported that the National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) wrote a letter to the Uttar Pradesh government seeking the extension to commission select solar power projects, claiming that state agencies have been lax and are to blame for delays. The issue going forward will be, who is to blame and will states take responsibility if they are at fault.