MNRE Clarifies ALMM Order Exceptions for Open Access and Net Metering Projects

ALMM will not apply to behind-the-meter captive solar power projects


The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has clarified that open access and net metering renewable energy projects that have applied for approval before October 1, 2022, will not come under the purview of the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM).

The Ministry has also stated that the ALMM will not be applicable for behind-the-meter solar power projects used for captive consumption by a consumer or group of consumers.

In March this year, MNRE amended the ALMM of Solar Modules (Requirements for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2019, extending the date of compliance for open access and net metering projects. It had stated that open access and net metering (rooftop solar) projects would need to source modules from the vendors listed in the ALMM starting October 1, 2022.

The MNRE had issued a mandate for solar cell and module manufacturers to register under the ALMM. Only manufacturers enlisted in ALMM could supply cells and modules to the projects tendered by government agencies, mainly utility-scale projects and subsidized residential and government rooftop solar projects.

But later, the MNRE amended it to include all net metering and open access projects. This meant consumers investing their funds to go green had to source modules from the ALMM list which currently only has domestic module manufacturers enlisted. The amendment took effect on April 1, 2022.

The Distributed Solar Power Association (DiSPA), an industry body of developers of distributed solar projects, had appealed to the Delhi High Court. DiSPA has argued that the ALMM mandate could adversely impact the projects under open access and net metering. It had recommended that MNRE should delay the implementation of the ALMM for commercial and industrial (C&I) solar projects by a year.

The Delhi High Court had sought a clarification from MNRE on the provisions to protect C&I solar projects under construction.

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