DERC extends the commissioning date of 90 MW of solar power projects

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has extended the commissioning date of three solar power projects with a cumulative capacity of 90 MW. The petition for the extension of the commissioning date was initially filed by the three companies under the Sun Edison group – SEI Renewable Energy, SEI Jyoti Swaroop Power, and SEI Ravikiran Energy for three projects of 30 MW each in the Shivpuri district in Madhya Pradesh. The companies had cited force majeure due to the lockdown imposed by the covid-19 pandemic.

In the initial power purchase agreement signed with the Tata Power Delhi Distribution Company Limited (TPDDCL), the commissioning date of April 20, 2020, was decided upon. Due to the lockdown, the companies requested an extension until October 31, 2020. This was rejected by the TPDDCL because the project was completed before March 25, 2020, when the lockdown was announced. The commission noted that the companies under the Sun Edison group, despite completing a majority of the work, could not acquire sufficient funds for their lender due to supply chain constraints. The commission hence deemed it a force majeure event and extended the commissioning date to October 31, 2020. In other words, it ruled that no compensation would be payable to the TPDDCL for the period of delay from March 25, 2020, to the delivery date of October 27, 2020.

In February 2021, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy issued a notification denying requests for another five-month extension for commissioning renewable energy projects and stated that such extensions would not be granted routinely in the future.

 

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