ReNew Power wants to exit TN wind project due to delay in land allocation

M Ramesh Chennai | Updated on August 10, 2020 Published on August 10, 2020

But SECI disputes ReNew Power’s ‘unilateral termination of the PPA’

ReNew Power, one of India’s leading renewable energy companies, wants to get out of an agreement to build a 265 MW wind power project in Tamil Nadu, citing “force majeure events”.

The company has petitioned the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) to terminate the power purchase agreement (PPA) it signed with the government of India-owned SECI in September 2018.

ReNew Power won the project in SECI’s fourth round of wind capacity auctions, of April 2018, quoting a tariff of ₹2.52 a kWhr.

It its petition, ReNew has said it is unable to implement the project because of delay in allocation of land for the project and delay in commissioning of the transmission system to evacuate the power. It has further cited ‘delay in adoption of tariff by SECI and Covid-19’ as reasons.

ReNew Power has taken a stand that if a force majeure event has continued for more than nine months, it is entitled to terminate the PPA. It has requested CERC to urge SECI to return the bank guarantee.

SECI’s view

SECI has disputed ReNew’s “unilateral termination of the PPA” on the grounds that the reasons cited by ReNew “do not constitute force majeure event” in terms of the agreement.

“If the Petitioner is willing to perform its obligations under the PPA then the parties could mutually decide on the issue of invocation of Bank Guarantee. However, if the Petitioner intends to go ahead with the unilateral termination, then SECI is entitled to invoke the Bank Guarantee,” SECI has said.

After the oral hearing (over video-conferencing facility), CERC directed SECI to file its reply to ReNew by August 25, and send a copy of it to ReNew, which may file its rejoinder by September 10.

Incidentally, there is no mention of the Tamil Nadu project in ReNew’s website, where it lists several other wind projects. Nor is there a mention of the project in Wikipedia page on ReNew Power.

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Published on August 10, 2020
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