COVID-19: Solar energy stakeholders ask MNRE for project timeline extension till 30 Nov, 2020

Solar energy stakeholders have requested the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) for a blanket extension in the project timelines of under-construction renewable energy projects till 30 November 2020, considering force majeure on account of lockdown.

In a letter to renewable energy minister R K Singh, the National Solar Energy Federation of India — organisation of all solar energy stakeholders of India — said that labour exodus, increase in COVID-19 cases, continuation of curfew in many cities, and transport restrictions have halted land procurement and construction of projects.

“Despite unlock-1 and unlock-2 guidelines, restrictions continue as many cities and states still have lockdown-like situations.. This has impacted project development,” said the apex solar body.

It added that the Centre’s announcement for free ration to the poor throughout the country till November, 2020, might also result in extended stay by labour in their native places.

To address labour exodus challenges, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had also declared a extension of six months to all public-private partnership contracts.

Earlier this month, MNRE had defined the lockdown period as 25 March to 31 May and had granted project deadline extensions to cover the 68-day period with an additional 30 days to help developers overcome the disruption.

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