Reading Time: 3 minutes
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has mandated that manufacturers of solar cells and modules register their models in the ‘Approved List of Models and Manufacturers’ (ALMM).
The government had previously stated that only modules and manufacturers on the ALMM List will be allowed to participate in government schemes, projects and bid-outs for projects after April 10, 2021. The MNRE amended the list to include net metering projects and open access.
With this amendment, any rooftop or open access solar developer has to procure the solar modules from the restricted ALMM list only.
In response to a petition filed by the Distributed Solar Power Association (DiSPA), the Honorable Delhi High-Court has sought clarification from MNRE, on the provisions they have made to protect ongoing projects, which could be negatively impacted with the extension of ALMM to projects under open access and net metering. Developers were hopeful that the Ministry will delay the implementation of the amendment by a minimum of 1 year, to protect ongoing projects.
The industry opposed the ALMM list restriction on sourcing. There were many reasons. The most important was the fact that consumers were unable to choose modules with high power output or advanced technologies. Module availability is also a problem because of the need to meet larger projects’ deadlines. Module prices have also risen due to the imbalance in demand and supply.
The latest ALMM revision VII dated 18.8.2022 list shows that there are currently 66 module manufacturers enlisted under ALMM, with no Chinese module supplier in the list.
According to sources, on September 6th, industry representatives met R K Singh (Minister of Power), MNRE to discuss urgent issues related to ALMM, Module availability and Basic Customs Duty (BCD).
An industry official said that there is a possibility for the government to extend ALMM implementation start date on C&I/open-access by at least six months, possibly even up to one year. Sources claim that there may be another major relaxation for solar project developers, where they will be able to purchase solar modules from any country including China. The ministry might also agree to exempt ALMM from utility-scale projects and bring them under the exemption.
Developers are optimistic that the Ministry will take all necessary steps to safeguard ongoing and under-development solar projects.