MNRE Issues Guidelines for Installation of Innovative Standalone Solar Pumps

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued guidelines for the installation of innovative standalone solar pumps.

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The move came after the Minister had received representations from innovators claiming that by using different design and software, better performance of solar pumps can be achieved as compared to specified by the Ministry and that too in a cost-effective manner.

Notably, MNRE has been supporting the installation of standalone solar pumps in India under off-grid and decentralized solar photovoltaic (PV) programme. In 2019-20, the Ministry had started the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahabhiyaan (PM-KUSUM) with a target to install 17.5 lakh standalone solar pumps by the year 2022.

Currently, 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.

The Ministry said that these guidelines are applicable for all Indian innovators, manufacturers and service providers, who wish to install innovative standalone solar pumps in India under schemes operated by the MNRE. These guidelines are further subdivided into four categories i.e.:

Call of Expression of Interest (EoI)

The Ministry will call EoI for inviting application from solar pump innovators claiming better performance on account of improved efficiency, cost-effectiveness, monitoring, other value addition, etc. Only those innovative products which are available for testing and field trial will be eligible for participation in the EoI.

Evaluation of Applications

Applications will be evaluated by MNRE constituted Evaluation Committee having technical and financial experts of the sector including academic experts. 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.

Demonstration of the Innovation

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 purpose.

Adoption of technology by MNRE

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. For innovations with the outstanding performance, the innovators will get a certificate of appreciation from MNRE.

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Recently, the Ministry had issued a precautionary warning for people against fraudulent websites claiming to be registration portals for PM-KUSUM Scheme. The Ministry said that “it had recently noticed that few new websites have cropped up as registration portal for PM-KUSUM Scheme.” Such websites are potentially duping the general public and misusing data captured through fake registration portal, it added.

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Manu Tayal

Manu is an Associate Editor at Saur Energy International where she writes and edits clean & green energy news, featured articles and interview industry veterans with a special focus on solar, wind and financial segments.