In an important announcement, the Ministry of Power (MoP) has granted an extension of three months to all interstate transmission projects under construction, with the scheduled commercial operation date (SCOD) falling after April 1, 2021, hit by the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Based on the completion of the transmission line whose SCOD has been extended by three months, the commencement date of long-term access provided to the generator by the central transmission utility, will also be extended by three months.
Last year, the MoP had decided to extend the SCOD of interstate power transmission projects that were under construction on the date of the lockdown (March 25, 2020). The government had provided an extension of five months for the projects.
The move by the Ministry comes after it received multiple requests from transmission utilities to push the project deadlines, citing delays on the grounds of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown imposed in many states amid the second wave of the virus outbreak.
The transmission utilities had requested the Ministry to grant an extension of the SCOD for the ongoing transmission projects to mitigate the issues of disruption in supply chains and the workforce caused by the pandemic.
In January this year, the MoP announced that it would not deprive renewable projects of a waiver on interstate transmission system charges and losses if they are commissioned after June 20, 2023, due to delays caused by the transmission provider or the government agency or due to force majeure events. The extension of the scheduled commissioning date should be issued by the Solar Energy Corporation of India or NTPC or other project implementing agencies on behalf of the central government.
Last month, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had announced that the renewable energy projects with their commissioning dates on or after April 1, 2021, can claim extension owing to the second surge of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the Ministry clarified that the actual extent of the time extension would be decided in due course depending on the severity of the pandemic in the coming weeks.
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Rakesh is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.