MNRE Reduces Commissioning Time for Solar Power Projects

The government has announced that it has reduced the time permitted for commissioning and financial conclusion of solar power projects, a step that could step up the pace of renewable energy capacity addition in the country. This, though, could be a worry for project developers as pressure of purchase of land and availability of transmission infrastructure continues to mount.

In revision to the tariff-based competitive bidding procedure for solar projects, MNRE alleged the timeline for commissioning of solar projects in a solar park and outside of it will be 15 and 18 months, respectively, in opposition to the earlier timeline of 21 and 24 months.

This, though, is not the first example of the government altering timelines for project commissioning.

The preliminary timeline for commissioning of solar projects was up to 13 months, which was unperturbed post industry’s demand. Following the latest revisions, project developers complained that such regular changes to the bidding guidelines create ambiguity in the market. “We feel that this is adequate time for commissioning of solar projects.

The Solar Power Developers Association (SPDA) had requested MNRE to permit 24 months for commissioning of central transmission utility (CTU)-connected projects, as the process of getting connectivity from the CTU requires considerable time.

The revised guidelines also call for accomplishment of financial conclusion of projects being set up inside a solar park to be brought down to 9 months, adjacent to 12 months allowed earlier.

MNRE’s guidelines would not help project developers at a time when the issue of acquisition and conversion of land is more pressing than ever, experts articulate.

Policies & Regulations | News published on 11/01/2019 by Moulin

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