Government moots list of approved PV models and manufacturers

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In a move to ensure the quality of solar cells and modules, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a circular to compile an Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) compliant with Bureau of Indian Standards norms.

Effective from March 31, 2020, the document will list approved models and manufacturers for modules and cells in separate sections.

According to the MNRE circular: “Only models and manufacturers included in this list will be eligible for use in government [and] government-assisted projects; projects under government schemes; and programs installed in the country, including projects set up for [the] sale of electricity to government under the guidelines dated August 3, 2017.

“The word ‘government’ shall include central and state governments, central and state public sector enterprises and central and state organisations [and] autonomous bodies,” adds the memo.

Future tenders to include listing requirements

From March 31, 2020, it will mandatory for approved PV module makers to source their cells from fellow approved manufacturers.

Solar tender bids finalized before issuance of the new order have been exempted from the requirement but future bids will have an ALMM clause in their request for solution documents.

To be approved, companies will have to obtain BIS certification. Listings will be valid for only two years and can be renewed upon submission of the necessary documents.

In another notification in the Gazette of India, the MNRE extended the deadline for the self-certification of inverters to June 30, subject to manufacturers holding valid IEC and test reports from international test laboratories that correspond to international standards.

Such manufacturers will be allowed self-certification without submitting samples to test labs as the guidelines for submitting samples to test labs are still under preparation.