Even after easing of lockdown, rooftop solar projects in India are affected by labour shortage and decreased working capital.

A Pune-based developer confronted a double whammy of labour shortage and closure of mission websites as industries in Maharashtra proceed to wrestle to return again to normalcy. “There is labour shortage and many project sites are yet to open,” stated the developer.

A Bengaluru-based rooftop solar developer echoed comparable views. “In the various phases of lockdown across the country since March 23, our projects got impacted as labour moved away to their native places,” he stated. This developer has 90 projects which entails organising and upkeep of rooftop-based solar methods for small industries and residential homes in southern India.

Typically, rooftop solar requires upkeep work equivalent to cleansing of solar panels as soon as each 15-30 days to make sure vitality effectivity. Larger rooftop solar firms are also going through issues.

“We have faced some shortages and as the PV module cleaning happens every 2-3 weeks,” stated Kuldeep Jain, Founder and Managing Director, CleanMax, which has round 500 rooftop projects throughout the nation.

Getting the workforce

Tata Power Solar, which has put in capability of 10,763 MW everywhere in the nation, didn’t see a problem because it ring-fenced folks within the places the place they work. “While the movement has been hampered, people are in the vicinity of the plant,” stated Ashish Khanna, MD & CEO, Tata Power Solar and President, Tata Power (Renewables).

While most of the labour workforce are round villages close to these mission websites, firms are discovering it troublesome to get them again to work. “The labour pool availability has reduced as people are scared of contracting Covid-19,” stated Sesha Prasanna, MD of Bengaluru-based Espee Solar.

After companies began resuming after the lockdown, issues haven’t been easy. “Companies faced initial challenges moving the labour to the construction sites due to issues related to travel, public transport as well as local quarantine rules,” acknowledged Gagan Vermani, Founder and CEO, MYSUN.

Projects miss date

About ₹16,000 crore value solar projects, including as much as a complete capability of 3,000 MW, might be in danger for lacking their respective scheduled industrial operation date (SCOD), in keeping with a Crisil report. This places in danger round 3GW of solar projects auctioned between July and August 2018, which want to satisfy their SCODs by July 2020.

The labour shortage has additionally elevated prices, thereby placing a pressure on working capital. Saket Suri, proprietor at Nagpur-based JK Powerguard, a solar merchandise distributor, is of the view that firms are going through cost delays and better working capital, which is placing extreme stress in mission execution.

Some firms are taking the assistance of expertise to handle an element of the issue. “For questions such as are the panels generating power right now, is the battery charging, we use technology,” stated Jain.

On April 21, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) gave all renewable projects that are within the pipeline a deadline extension. This extension is for the interval of lockdown plus further 30 days for normalisation, for which they won’t need to submit any proof or proofs for examination.

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