MERC Grants 5 Months Extension To Clean Wind Power

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Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission recently passed an order on deferment of Scheduled Commercial Operation Date (SCOD) on account of Force Majeure (FM) events related to COVID-19 outbreak.

M/s Clean Wind Power (Bhavnagar) Private Limited (CWPBPL) has filed a petition against Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd.

Clean Power stated that  COVID-19 outbreak prevented it from undertaking its obligations under the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) dated 17 July 2019 and consequential reliefs. 

Main Prayers of CWPBPL are as follows:a) Hold and declare that the Covid-19 pandemic and its consequent implications as set out in the Petition which prevented the Petitioner from achieving commissioning of the Project by the extended SCOD (i.e., 23.06.2020) is a Force Majeure Event under Article 8 of the Power Purchase Agreement dated 17.07.2018.b) Hold and declare that the Petitioner is not liable to pay any Liquidated Damages or any penalty in terms of PPA as the delay in commissioning is due to a Force Majeure event and as such the Petitioner cannot be held liable for the same; c) Hold and declare that the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequent implications as set out in the Petition are a continuing Force Majeure Event affecting the Project with effect from 19.02.2020.

d) Extend the Scheduled Commercial Operation Date of the Project from 23.06.2020 without any adverse consequences, till such time that the effects of the Force Majeure event involving COVID-19 pandemic on the Project as narrated in the Petition completely subsides, and in any event not for a period lesser than one year i.e., till 22.06.2021; e) Hold and declare that the buffer period of 9 months’ beyond the SCOD stipulated under Article 3 of the PPA for commissioning the Project will be reckoned from the further extended SCOD in terms of prayer (iv) above, as the Petitioner is unable to complete the Project due to Force Majeure Event; f) Grant ex-parte ad-interim order restraining the Respondent from taking any coercive steps against the Petitioner, including restraining the Respondent from invoking the Performance Bank Guarantee of the Petitioner, during the pendency of the present proceedings; 

CWPBPL is Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) of Hero Wind Energy Private Limited (Hero) for the purpose of developing a wind power plant of 75.6 MW capacity at Anjanadi Site, Village – Malegaon Thokal, Gaur Pimpari, Kannad & Phulambri Tehsil, District – Aurangabad. Pursuant to Request for Selection (RfS), Hero participated in the bidding process and was selected for developing 75.6 MW Wind capacity in Kannad Taluka of Aurangabad Dist. 

Due to COVID-19 pandemic and safety measures taken in various countries to curb its spread, the manufacturing and import of WTG components has either stopped or is adversely affected in a significant manner. 

Commission stated that disruption in global supply chain and non-availability of manpower due to outbreak of Covid-19 and imposition of consequential lockdown in India is considered an event of Force Majeure hence Clean Wind Power (Bhavnagar) Private Limited is exempted from its obligation for the period granted under Force Majeure without any claims of compensation.

Commission ordered that Preliminary extension of 5 months in SCoD is allowed for Clean Wind Power (Bhavnagar) Private Limited and the same shall be computed with reference to date of Force Majeure notice.

Accordingly it concluded that Scheduled Date of Commissioning stands extended from 23 June 2020 to 23 November 2020 and Clean Wind Power (Bhavnagar) Private Limited shall submit fresh Performance Bank Guarantee with validity of six months beyond this extended Scheduled Date of Commissioning to Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd within a month from the date of this Order.

To know more refer to the document below:

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