The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a fresh notification extending the self-certification of solar photovoltaic (PV) inverters under the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) from December 31, 2021, to June 30, 2022. The extension was granted as the industry had sought more time for compliance, considering the issues relating to testing and the level of preparation of test labs.
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.
Earlier, the Solar Energy Federation, Power Products Manufacturers and Traders Association, and Industries had conveyed to the Ministry the difficulties relating to certification due to the Covid-19 pandemic, high testing fee, and limited testing facilities for testing up to 150 kW capacity inverters and had sought more time for compliance.
The government had issued the ‘Solar PV Systems, Devices, and Components Goods Order, 2017’ for the requirements of compulsory registration with six products included in the schedule on September 5, 2017.
Since the notification was released on September 5, 2017, the deadline has been extended several times. In August 2021, the MNRE had issued a notification extending the self-certification of solar PV inverters from June 30, 2021, to December 31, 2021.
Many stakeholders believe that the whole process is time-consuming. High testing fees and the availability of testing facilities are some of the impediments to the smooth implementation of the certification process. MNRE has been trying to simplify and clear the air about implementing the certification process. But things seem to be moving very slowly, and there is a sense of skepticism among the manufacturers.
In August 2019, the Ministry approved the series guidelines for grouping solar inverters. These series of guidelines pertain to conducting laboratory tests to implement the quality control order. The guidelines were issued to facilitate testing in the formation of a series of products for the approval of a product family. These were also meant to include any change in the design and material for testing solar inverters in test labs for the compulsory registration with the BIS.