The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has once again extended the deadline for the self-certification of solar inverters through the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The deadline has now been extended from September 30, 2019, to December 31, 2019.
Considering the issues relating to testing, and the level of preparation of test labs, the industry had sought more time for compliance, and therefore the ministry has extended the deadline again.
However, the deadline is subject to the condition that manufacturers have valid International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) accreditation and test reports from international test labs for the smooth implementation of the order.
The ministry had earlier extended the deadline for BIS certification of solar inverters from June 30, 2019, to September 30, 2019. Prior to this, the deadline was extended by six months to June 30, 2019.
Previously, Mercom has written about the struggles of inverter manufacturers in gaining clarity on the ambiguous BIS certification process. The unavailability of labs, lack of testing facilities and workforce, unreasonable costs of testing, absence of series guidelines, and confusion regarding MNRE notifications were some of the issues that have made the compliance of the order “Solar Photovoltaics Systems, Devices and Component Goods Order 2017” extremely difficult. Through several interviews with inverter suppliers, Mercom found out that the cost of BIS certification is also a cause of concern for the inverter suppliers apart from the time-taking process.
Realizing the need for quality products to be used in the rapidly expanding solar projects, the government had mandated that the tests must be conducted by labs for compulsory registration with the BIS for the implementation of the quality order. Since the notification was released on September 5, 2017, the deadline has been extended several times as the industry has been seeking more and more time for the compliance of the order due to a lack of lab facilities.
Meanwhile, in August 2019, the ministry approved the series guidelines for grouping solar inverters. These series guidelines pertain to conducting tests in laboratories for the implementation of the quality control order. The draft guidelines were introduced by the ministry in April 2019. As inverters are of varying sizes, ratings, and type, they need to be grouped in categories for submitting samples to test labs.
Though the deadline has been extended, the relief to the solar inverter manufacturers is only for 90 days of which 23 days are already past and the problem of inadequate labs lingers on.
Image credit: Photo by Scott Ely. – U.S. Department of Energy from United States [Public domain]
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.