• MNRE has approved setting up of a Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) to consider disputes arising between solar and wind developers and SECI/NTPC
  • A 3-member DRC committee will address disputes emerging beyond the scope of contractual agreements between the parties
  • All recommendations made by the DRC in these cases will be placed before the MNRE
  • The final word will rest with the MNRE minister who will consider all recommendations made

The Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has approved a proposal from the solar and wind industry to set up a Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) that will consider unforeseen disputes arising between solar and wind power developers and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

The committee will address such disputes that are beyond the scope of contractual agreements between these entities.

Approved by the Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, RK Singh, it was agreed that a 3-member DRC will be established comprising eminent persons in Delhi/NCR who have no conflict of interest involved.

Its basic jurisdiction will be to consider appeals against decisions given by SECI on extension of time requests based on terms of contract in case of natural calamities delay in handing over land by developers or delays in connectivity, among others. All extension requests at the time not covered under the contract will also be accepted by the DRC for consideration within 21 days of SECI/NTPC order.

The DRC will submit its recommendations for all cases considered to MNRE within 21 days from the date of reference. The MNRE in turn will present the cases to the minister for a final decision. In the entire process, no lawyers will be permitted as the DRC will be free to interact with relevant parties and record their views.

The mechanism of DRC will be applicable for all solar, wind, schemes/programmes/projects being implemented by SECI and NTPC.

The move will give further fillip to the smooth implementation of solar/wind energy projects in India. It fulfils a long pending demand of the industry to resolve expeditiously, unforeseen disputes that may arise beyond the scope of contractual agreements,” said Singh.

India’s solar market has been growing by leaps and bounds over the last few years but issues related to land, transmission, infrastructure, trade among others have been pet peeves for the industry. The DRC is expected to be a transparent, unbiased, independent authority for related disputes.