Industry Body Urges RERC to Provide Time Extension for Rooftop Solar Projects under Net Metering

Amidst the second wave of Covid 19, industry body REAR Renewable Energy Association (REAR) has urged the Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) to extend the timeline beyond June 30, 2021, for the completion of requirements of net metering, intimation to Discoms, etc for rooftop solar projects.

May 29, 2021. By Manu Tayal

Amidst force majeure conditions due to second wave of Covid 19, industry body REAR Renewable Energy Association (REAR) has urged the Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) to extend the timeline beyond June 30, 2021, for the completion of requirements of net metering, intimation to Discoms etc, as per their eligibility under provisions of the RERC (connectivity and net metering for rooftop and small solar grid interactive systems) Regulations 2019 and 2015.

As per the notification, the RERC’s (grid interactive distributed renewable energy generating systems) Regulations, 2021, would be applicable to all grid interactive distributed RE generating systems that are commissioned on or after July 01, 2021.

Provided that, rooftop and small solar grid interactive systems commissioned under net metering agreements up to June 30, 2021, would continue to operate under the net metering arrangement till the period of connection agreement, as per the provisions of the RERC’s 2015 Regulations.

The industry body said that, it is almost at the same time that the notification was issued, the entire country entered into the second wave of pandemic, and various restrictions have been imposed in the state from end of March onwards which is still continuing.

Thus, solar EPC players and developers have witnessed the scarcity of material, labor as well as funds, which resulted in putting the projects on hold.

Speaking on the matter, Ajay Yadav, President of REAR Renewable Energy Association, said “due to the restrictions, it was not possible to make movement, mobilize teams, procure materials and take up activities at sites and with the department for the net metering, intimation and registrations of the projects which were already installed or were under installations.”

He further explained “due to the scarcity of material and supply-chain disruption, there is abnormal price hike in all the necessary material and equipments like DCR modules, inverters, structures etc.”

“Considering the present scenario it seems difficult that the situation will come under control in next couple of months and these pending activities can be completed within the timelines i.e. up to June 30, 2021 as provided by the honourable commission,” he added.

Thus, the industry body has sought a further time extension of 3 months beyond June 30, 2021, from RERC, considering as a minimum time period of the loss of time between declaration of lockdowns and the attainment of the normalcy in the state and country.

Besides RERC, the industry body has also urged the nodal agency Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd (RREC) to provide at least 3 months time extension for the completion of rooftop solar projects.

Considering the hurdles faced by various industry stakeholders amid covid-19, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had already released a notification stated that RE projects, being implemented through implementing agencies designated by the MNRE or under various schemes of the MNRE, having their Scheduled Commissioning Date (SCD) on or after April 01, 2021 will be eligible to claim time-extension for completion of their project activities.

As per the notification, the nodal agency can grant the extension on request by the EPC players or developers and no other supporting documents will be required for granting time-extension.

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