Our last few blogs have been about analyzing some of the announcements and clarifications by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and yet again, the organization has some more news for us. The gazette was signed on 30th August, 2017 itself, however, was published on the website only recently.
This gazette (refer) focuses on standardizing quality of material used and hence the Solar PV projects executed. It aims to address the larger concern in the market of “who takes responsibility if my solar power system doesn’t work”. MNRE takes that responsibility.
Three main steps have been taken in this direction- Requirement of an Indian Standard Mark for the product being sold, power to inspect and power to conduct physical testing at any time.
Requirement of an Indian Standard Mark
⦁ An application needs to be made for use of the Indian Standard Mark to the Bureau of Indian Standards
⦁ No one shall be allowed to use this mark unless approved by the Bureau
⦁ Defective goods that don’t conform to the standards prescribed by the Bureau need to be deformed beyond use and disposed as scrap to the manufacturer in India or overseas
⦁ The prescribed standards are as shown below:
This is a first step in the direction of establishing trust among buyers and investors who have been wary of investing in the sector due to the long term risk involved in the technology. Also, this takes a closer look at cheap material which was so far being used for some solar projects in order to cut costs at the cost of long term plant performance.
Power to Inspect
⦁ The Appropriate Authority (someone from MNRE) may require sellers/ manufacturers to furnish samples
⦁ The authority will also be authorized to inspect components and material in possession of the seller manufacturer
⦁ Finally, it can also search premises and seize goods if it believes problems in compliance of the order
Drawing and Testing
⦁ Testing of components would happen at least once in two years at any of the manufacturing/ selling units selected randomly
⦁ Series approval for similar components with small variations such as rating etc would be allowed by the authority, where MNRE will have the final say
⦁ The Bureau may intervene if required for testing of these components
⦁ After testing is performed in a laboratory recognized by the bureau, the test report is retained by the authority if it conforms to the standards and if not, sent to the bureau for further action
⦁ The status of this would be updated on MNRE website
A crystal clear order leaves no scope for escape for sub-standard manufacturers raising the level of Solar PV in India hopefully. Third part testing companies will have now align themselves with the new standards required in order to keep catering to the manufacturers. This also protects the interest of the end customer who does not know much about technicalities of Solar PV.
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