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Solar projects allowed deadline extension amid China delays

The government has enabled timeline extension for solar projects facing disruptions in supply of imported solar modules, mainly from China, where severe power cuts imposed on industries have led to abrupt cost increase and retraction of several signed binding contracts.
The renewable energy ministry has empowered the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) to look into any time extension requirement for projects under implementation through ministry agencies and having scheduled commissioning date before April 1, 2022, and make recommendations on a case-to-case basis. As a one-time special dispensation, DRC is authorised to take up the projects directly without waiting for the decision of renewable energy implementing agencies, the ministry said in an order issued last week. “The concerned project developer can apply to DRC within one month of this order,” it said. “Such projects shall only be required to pay minimum fee of Rs 1,00,000.”

As per current dispute resolution mechanism provisions, a developer first approaches the concerned renewable energy implementing agency – Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), NTPC or

– for relief. In case a developer is not in agreement with the decision of the implementing agency, they have the option of approaching DRC by filing an appeal within 21 days. A fee of 1% of the impact of dispute, subject to a minimum fee of Rs 1,00,000 and maximum of Rs 50,00,000 is also to be paid.

The government has already granted time extensions to projects during the first and second waves of Covid-19.
Power and renewable energy minister RK Singh told ET in an interview on October 8 that the government is mulling delaying imposition of customs duty on imported solar equipment or allowing extension of deadline for completion of domestic solar projects that are facing supply uncertainties from vendors in China.

Domestic solar companies had approached the government seeking extension of the duty deadline by a year, saying Chinese companies are taking advantage of the proposed 40% customs duty on solar equipment from April next year, making Indian firms pay more than 1.5 times of the originally signed contract.

Read More: Solar projects allowed deadline extension amid China delays

2021-11-09 12:14:00

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