MNRE permits only six months extension on account of covid-19

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has clarified through a notification that the total extension for the commissioning of renewable energy projects that are provided by implementing agencies on account of covid-19 should in no case be more than six months. This would include the five-monthly blanket extension given by MNRE earlier. In August 2020, MNRE had given a direction to all its implementing agencies to treat lockdown due to covid-19 as force majeure and give timeline extensions to all renewable energy projects for the same. To this end, it had announced a time extension of five months from March 25, 2020, to August 24, 2020, to renewable power projects on account of covid-19. This was a blanket extension and was given to all renewable projects without a case-to-case examination.

However, MNRE has received requests for further extension. In February 2021, it decided that extends beyond these five months can be granted by implementing agencies only in exceptional cases, after due diligence and careful consideration of the specific circumstances of the case, and if allowed in terms of the provisions of the relevant contract. Further, it has notified that this further extension beyond five months will not be granted routinely.

Its latest order also clarifies that in case an implementing agency feels that there is a requirement to give an extension beyond six months, it shall make a reference for consideration of the MNRE with due justification and supporting documents. No such extension shall be granted by the implementing agencies on their own.

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