MNRE reinstates solar module standards from April 1

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy reinstates the Approved List of Models & Manufacturers (ALMM) for solar modules, effective April 1, 2024. This move, outlined in a recent decision, aims to ensure quality standards and benefits domestic manufacturers in the renewable energy sector.

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The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has reinstated the Approved List of Models & Manufacturers (ALMM) for solar modules starting from April 1, 2024.

In a previous announcement on March 10, 2023, it was mentioned that projects completed by March 31, 2024, would be exempt from the obligation to obtain solar modules from ALMM. However, the latest decision specifies that the exemption will apply to projects in advanced construction stages with module orders placed before March 31, 2024.

As per the memorandum dated February 9, 2024, ALMM will be applicable to subsidized solar rooftops and PM KUSUM. It will not affect projects established under open access or as captive setups by private individuals, meaning those setting up their own capacity won’t be subject to ALMM.

The memorandum clarifies that ALMM will only apply to projects sponsored or subsidized by the government. This includes government or its agencies acquiring power for self-use or distribution to the public through discoms.

The ALMM Order was temporarily suspended for the financial year 2024. Consequently, projects commissioned by March 31, 2024, were exempted from the ALMM requirement.

Girishkumar Kadam, senior vice-president and group head – corporate ratings at ICRA, views the reinstatement of ALMM from April 1, 2024, as a positive development for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). He mentions that this requirement benefits domestic solar OEMs, as it mandates solar projects awarded by central nodal agencies and state distribution utilities to source modules from manufacturers listed under ALMM.

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