Mitsui Chemicals, a Japanese company, is planning to establish a solar panel testing and certification lab in Gujarat in partnership with PI Berlin. The lab will be set up through its Indian affiliate, Mitsui Chemicals India Pvt. Ltd.
With a surging number of photovoltaic (PV) power generation facilities being planned, the Indian government has implemented a measure to block the country’s influx of poor-quality solar panels by requiring Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification for panels used in all PV projects.
Mitsui Chemicals has been growing diagnostics business for photovoltaic power generation in Japan since 2014, according a company release. The company now plans to leverage its know-how in panel and power plant diagnostics and roll out a similar business in India.
Affiliated company Mitsui Chemicals India Pvt. Ltd. is setting up a solar panel testing and certification lab in partnership with PI Photovoltaik-Institut Berlin AG of Germany (PI Berlin), a provider of accredited lab testing services. The facility will begin admitting BIS certification tests in August 2019. The lab will be located in Ahmadabad, Gujarat.
Plans are to establish a track record in BIS testing and certification and then use this to build a diagnostics business for solar panels and power plants. In November 2017, PI Berlin created an Indian subsidiary based in New Delhi that will enable it to provide services to the Indian market from a local base of operations.
Lack of testing facilities has become a problem in India and could slowdown project commissioning, according to developers and manufacturers who complain that there is a backlog of up to 6 months to get testing done.
Mercom recently reported that MNRE issued a series of guidelines for conducting tests on solar modules (crystalline and thin film, including bifacial type). The tests are to be conducted by test labs for compulsory registration with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for the implementation of the Solar Photovoltaics Systems, Devices and Component Goods Order 2017.
In December 2017, MNRE issued a new National Lab Policy (NLP) to improve the quality and reliability of renewable energy projects in India.