Govt extends commissioning date of solar PV hybrid power projects

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Government has given the implementing agencies permission to postpone the commissioning date of solar PV and solar PV-wind hybrid power projects until March 31, 2024 in an effort to ease the burden on companies involved in renewable energy. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) issued a notification stating that “solar PV power developers/associations have represented to MNRE that there is a supply chain disruption in the solar PV sector and have requested appropriate reliefs to tackle the same.”

“This issue has been examined in the Ministry and it has been decided that implementing agencies SECI/NTPC/NHPC may extend the scheduled commissioning date (SCD) till 31.03.2024 and commensurately extend other associated intermediate milestones of such solar PV/Solar PV-wind hybrid power projects, wherein the last date of bid submission was on or after 10.04.2021 and whose SCD, including time-extensions, already granted, if any, is before 31.03.2024, and who wish to avail such time-extension,” it said.

This extension would not be available to those projects which did not sign the PPA (power purchase agreement) before October 1, 2022. The decision has been issued with the approval of the Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy, the notification said.

Supply chain disruptions, changes in tariff regime and the pandemic were among the reasons for the shortfall in meeting the targeted 60 GW of wind energy in the country by 2022, MNRE Minister RK Singh informed Parliament on December 13. He also said that till October 31, 2022, only 7.2 GW of rooftop solar capacity has been achieved.

The minister cited “apprehension of possible revenue loss by DISCOMs, delay in getting approvals from different agencies, delay in installation of net/gross metres by DISCOMs, lack of uniform regulations, lack of awareness among the prospective beneficiaries, etc” as the major reasons for the shortfall of rooftop solar installation.