Rooftop Solar Installers Urge Govt to Grant 3 Months Time Extension for Project Commissioning amid Pandemic

In this regard, the association has written a letter, on behalf of all the EPC players, developers, and empanelled vendors under the Rooftop Subsidy Scheme under RTS Phase-II, to the MNRE.

April 26, 2021. By Manu Tayal

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Renewable energy industry body REAR Renewable Energy Association has urged the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to provide three months time extension for completion of rooftop solar projects under RTS Phase-II scheme amidst the second wave of corona virus pandemic.

In this regard, the association has written a letter, on behalf of all the EPC players and developers and especially the empanelled vendors under the Rooftop Subsidy Scheme under RTS Phase-II, to the MNRE.

In the letter, REAR highlighted the continued challenges that the rooftop solar power industry is facing amidst the lockdown like restrictions imposed in many states across the country.

Due to second wave of Covid‐19 pandemic the solar EPC players and developers are witnessing scarcity of material, labour as well as funds, which again resulted in putting the projects on hold, a REAR statement said.

In Rajasthan, the government has posed restrictions on various activities till May 03, 2021. Thus, empanelled vendors under Rooftop Subsidy Scheme have no option but to wait for the situation to be normal before they resume the work since, they are neither getting the material nor labor, it added.

REAR also highlighted that, for projects under MNRE Phase-II, there is a specific requirement to use the Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) modules. Due to 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.

As far as Rajasthan is concerned, the tender for MNRE Phase-II has a specific condition of physical PDI of modules, which is the biggest reason for project delays since in the current covid situation, neither manufacturer nor Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd (RRECL) inspector are willing to go for physical PDI, it further said.

Therefore, the industry body has requested MNRE to opt for virtual/web PDI, because in such conditions, ultimately, empanelled vendor has to suffer due to delay by the nodal agency or scarcity and price hike of material, and they are the ones who will be penalized for the delay, it opined.

Last year in such situations, the government had taken the problems into cognizance and provided relief in blanket extension for 5 months to solar project developers.

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