SECI grants 2-month breather for wind projects in Gujarat

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Wind power developers in Gujarat have got two months time from the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to do financial closure of their proposed projects.

This comes as a relief for projects worth 1,700 MW that were facing a penalty of ₹10,000 per MW per day for delays in financial closure. The respite came after the Centre stepped in to resolve the dispute between wind power project developers and the Gujarat government.

The projects under pressure have been won by Inox Wind, Mytrah Energy, ReNew Power, Alfanar Sprng Energy, Green Infra Wind Energy, BPL Energy and Torrent Power.

Project developers attributed the delay to the hurdles in getting land for lease for wind projects auctioned by central agencies such as SECI.

The developers also alleged that the State sought an assured supply of power to the State power distribution company (Discom) in return for allocation of land for the projects.

“If the Gujarat government’s request is acceded to, it will set a dangerous precedent. While the Gujarat discom does not delay payments, other States do. If they follow suit, then it will be difficult for the wind power companies to continue at the same bid levels as the risk for each project goes up,” an official at a wind power project developer had said.

“It is also a breach of contract, because under the SECI auction, the wind power generator sells power to PTC India. This allows us an off-take assurance and poses a lower risk,” the official added.

“While an immediate relief has been brokered by the Centre, there is still no clarity on the land issue,” another official at a wind power company said.

source@bussinessline 04/01/2019