The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a notification which states that the deadline for the self-certification of solar inverters has once again been extended by six months from December 31, 2019, to June 30, 2020.
Realizing the need for quality components in solar projects, the government had mandated that laboratories must conduct the tests for compulsory registration with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for the implementation of the quality order.
Considering the capacity, issues related to testing fees, and the lack of test labs available, the industry has been seeking more time for compliance since the introduction of the policy. The government has once again agreed to extend the self-certification deadline. This is subject to the condition that “manufacturers have valid International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) corresponding to IS specified in the order for these items and test reports from international test labs, for smooth implementation of the order.”
Before the December deadline, the ministry had earlier extended the deadline for BIS certification of solar inverters from June 30, 2019, to September 30, 2019. Before this, the deadline was extended by six months to June 30, 2019.
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.
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.
Image credit: Sungrow Power
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.