Citing urgency in the need for maintaining quality of solar equipment being deployed in the country, ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) has brought forward the implementation date of a quality control order that requires sellers and manufacturers of solar photovoltaic modules to have their products registered under parameters set by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
Last year, MNRE issued the Quality Control (Requirement for Compulsory Registration under BIS Act) Order 2017, which was supposed to come into effect a year from September 5, 2017, when it was published in the Gazette.
The order applies to both domestic and international solar manufacturers selling their products in India.
“We have pushed ahead the date because we want to ensure that whatever comes into the country is of quality,” said a senior government official. A notification dated March 26 said that the date for enforcement of the order “should be brought forward in order to ensure that quality control benefits the industry at the earliest possible.”
For supplies from April 1 to June 30 this year, the representatives of the manufacturers would submit samples to an authorised lab for testing and give a self-certification that the modules adheres to the prescribed standards, the order said.
Solar developers and manufacturers will be liable to penalties as per the provisions of the order if they are not keeping up with the BIS specified quality standards. “If the developer himself buys sub-standard product, he will come into the picture and be liable to penalty,” said another official on the condition of anonymity.
The decision has been made keeping in mind the preparedness of test labs in consultation with BIS and test labs, government said.
The fire test requirement, however, will be effective from July 1, as there aren’t sufficient labs equipped for the same, said one of the officials quoted above.