ALMM Reimposed with Exemptions for Open Access Solar and Projects in Advanced Stages
The exemption will also apply to projects that have procured modules before March 31, 2024
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has notified that the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers regulation will be reimposed from April 1, 2024. However, the mandate will be relaxed for solar projects in advanced stages of construction or if the order for modules has been placed before March 31, 2024.
The ALMM will not apply to projects set up under open access solar or as captive by private parties.
The exemption would allow more time for solar project developers who have stocked up on the module imports but are yet to commission their projects.
Whether the project is in the advanced stages of construction and if the irrevocable LC has been opened before March 31, 2024, will be subject to verification.
The ministry has clarified that in addition to these projects, ALMM would apply to all government-subsidized projects, projects set up for consumption by the government and its agencies or distribution companies.
According to Mercom India Research, the solar module imports in the fourth quarter of 2023 alone stood at 9.5 GW, whereas from January to December, they were over 16 GW.
Mercom had previously reported on how a one-year extension would not cover the project’s 18–24-month development cycle.
The ALMM mandate comes back at a time when new capacity additions have dropped by almost 50% year-over-year in 2023.
The Union Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy, R.K. Singh, last year, had mentioned the fledgling domestic manufacturing capacity is insufficient to cater to the large solar capacity addition pipeline, as the primary reason behind the ALMM mandate suspension.
The government felt that ALMM could have jeopardized the goal of reaching 280 GW by 2030 from just over 70 GW currently.
In the ministry’s view, while ALMM suspension would disappoint the domestic manufacturing industry in the short run, the sector can overcome the impact given that it is still ramping up capacity and technology.
The majority of the tenders floated by the central agencies in the last year continued with the mandate for the use of only ALMM-listed modules for the projects, according to Mercom India Solar Tender Tracker.
Just last month, the MNRE also expanded the ALMM by adding 64 MW of new solar module capacity, bringing the cumulative module manufacturing capacity to 22,191 MW. With the latest addition, ALMM now has 72 module manufacturers.
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