The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has recently passed an order on Guidelines for installation of innovative standalone solar pumps.
The Ministry had received representations from innovators claiming that by using different designs or software for the solar pumps performance better than specified by the Ministry can be achieved in a cost effective manner. In order to promote innovative standalone solar pumps, the new guidelines for installation of innovative standalone solar pumps are issued with approval of Competent Authority.
The Ministry will call EoI from time to time for inviting applications from solar pump innovators. To be eligible to participate in this EoI innovators products must be available for testing and field trial.New technologies for which patent/IP related filings have been done will also be eligible to participate in the EoI. Organization which has filed the patent must be the sole applicant or lead partner in case of a consortium/JV. A cost benefit analysis must also be enclosed by innovators with the proposal.
Applications will be evaluated by an Evaluation Committee constituted by MNRE. Test report for the proposed solar pump will be submitted by the innovator along with EoI, however, if deemed necessary, the Committee may recommend re-testing of performance of the pump at NISE or any other NABL accredited lab before allowing installation of such pumps in the field.
The Ministry stated that In cases where the technology is in its nascent stage, special methods might be adopted to test the pumps in consultation with the innovator and NISE. It also mentioned that the expenditure incurred on testing will be borne by the applicant.
On recommendations of the Committee, the innovative technology will be allowed for demonstration in the field after getting consent from respective state implementing agency (SIA) and the beneficiary farmers by the innovator. The innovator will be allowed to install up to 50 solar pumps in different parts of the State/UT for demonstration purposesThe field demonstration will continue for at least one year from date of installation of such pumps and during that period the performance of the pump will be monitored on real time basis.
The installed innovative pumps must meet the existing MNRE performance standards but only the innovations showing substantial improvement from the MNRE specifications may be considered for adoption.
MNRE has guided the evaluation committee to execute comparative analysis of performance of innovative technology with regard to MNRE specifications.
On recommendations of the Evaluation Committee, the MNRE may adopt the innovative
technology and update the existing specification after having detailed stakeholders’
consultation on the same.
The Ministry has been supporting installation of standalone solar pumps in the country under Off-grid and Decentralized Solar PV Programme. In 2019-20, implementation of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahabhiyaan (PM-KUSUM) started with a target to install 17.5 lakh standalone solar pumps by the year 2022.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has earlier issued updated specifications for stand-alone solar pumps on 17.7.2019. At present under the MNRE Scheme, solar pumps fulfilling the MNRE specifications can be installed, however, in order to promote innovation in technology, the Ministry has decided to permit installation of innovative stand-alone solar pumps in test mode.
These guidelines are applicable for all Indian innovators/manufacturers/service providers, who wish to install innovative stand-alone solar pumps in the country under Schemes operated by the MNRE.