MNRE Clarifies On Applicability of ALMM Rules For Open Access, Net Metering Projects

MNRE Clarifies On Applicability of ALMM Rules For Open Access, Net Metering Projects

In an office memorandum on October 7, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has issued some key clarifications regarding it’s rules for usage of ALMM (Approved list of module manufacturers) modules across projects in India.

The ministry, through another OM, had mandated the use of ALMM modules for all projects approved post April 1, 2022. This was done even as it expanded the ambit of these projects to include all projects including open access and net metering, effectively shutting out non-ALMM modules (read-International) out of every segment of any significance in the country.

This April 1 date was extended to October 1, after representations from industry players that pointed to the shortage of enough domestic module  capacity.

Now, it’s latest order clarifies that the October 1 deadline shall not be applicable for projects that have applied for approvals before October 1, 2022. In effect, considering the typical time between approvals and actual construction, offering a further leeway of close to six months for many such projects.

It has also confirmed that ALMM rules shall not be mandatory for behind the meter captive power plants, a segment that is just beginning to take off.

The MNRE moves were expected, considering how many Industry players had factored in the exemption in their purchase of non ALMM modules. Importantly, it continues to offer a window to many domestic manufacturers who are yet to get approvals for their expanded or fresh manufacturing capacity to sell in the market.

With distributed, or off grid projects technically off the hook too, the MNRE clarification would seem to tackle the most urgent issues for now, even as the fate of larger utility scale projects in the pipeline, which are facing much higher costs than anticipated, remains in limbo.

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