The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a notification regarding BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) certification for the replacement of solar modules in old projects.
The latest notification allows exemption from BIS certification for the replacement of up to two modules per MW. An earlier notification dated July 13, 2018, allowed an exemption for the replacement of two modules per project.
However, the new exemption is only valid if the solar modules have valid IEC certificates corresponding to Indian standards. If the replacement is for more panels, the manufacturers will have to get the product tested in test labs as per the Indian standards. For the purpose of getting exemption under this clause, a specific waiver from the MNRE would be required.
The notification pertains to Indian government’s “Solar Photovoltaics, Systems, Devices, and Components Goods (Requirements for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2017″ which aims to maintain the quality in domestic solar projects.
Lately, aggressive bidding has taken a toll on the quality of components in a solar project with developers compromising on various fronts to cut costs to maximize profits. The government has been trying to address the issue through various quality control guidelines and orders.
For instance, in December 2018, the MNRE issued a memorandum regarding the importance of following BIS certification when it comes to the quality of solar modules. According to the memorandum, “The lenders involved in financing solar PV power projects must insist for BIS certification regarding the quality of solar modules and not whether the supply of solar modules is from the Bloomberg Tier-I List.”
Recently, Mercom reported about the MNRE approving ‘series’ guidelines for quality testing of solar inverters.
The ministry has also issued a set of guidelines to be followed by solar manufacturers for models of modules that will be utilized in government-owned projects and those set up for the sale of electricity to the government.
Shaurya is a staff reporter at MercomIndia.com with experience working in the Indian solar energy industry for the past four years in various roles. Prior to joining Mercom, Shaurya worked with a renewable energy developer and a consulting company. Shaurya holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.