The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a notification extending the self-certification(BIS) of solar PV inverters from December 31, 2020, to June 30, 2021, subject to the condition that the manufacturers have valid International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) certificates and test reports from international test labs.
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 05, 2017. After discussions with various stakeholders, including the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the order was extended to April 16, 2018.
Since the notification was released on September 5, 2017, the deadline has been extended several times.
The date was extended to September 20, 2019, which was later extended to June 30, 2019. There have been two more extensions, first until June 30, 2020, and then until December 31, 2020.
The Solar Energy Federation, Power Products Manufacturers and Traders Association, and Industries had conveyed to the ministry the constraints and difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, high testing fee, and availability of limited testing facilities capable of testing up to 150 kW capacity inverters and had sought more time for compliance. Taking all these factors into account, the ministry extended the deadline for self-certification once again.
The government had mandated that laboratories conduct the tests for compulsory registration with the BIS to implement the quality order. This was done to ensure the quality of components used in solar projects in the country.
Previously, Mercom had written about how the inverter manufacturers were struggling with the ambiguous BIS certification process. The lack of labs, testing facilities, and workforce were major hurdles. Additionally, the unreasonable costs of testing, absence of series guidelines, and confusion regarding MNRE notifications were some other issues that have made the compliance of the order difficult. Through several interviews with inverter suppliers, Mercom found out that the cost of BIS certification is a major cause of concern for the inverter suppliers apart from the time-taking process.