MNRE clarifies import of lead-acid batteries for solar PV applications

The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has notified guidelines for import of secondary cells and batteries of lead-acid and nickel-based chemistries for use in solar PV power projects.

Having notified the Solar Photovoltaics Systems, Devices and Components Goods (Requirements for Compulsory Registration) Order under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act of September 2017 to ensure quality control in PV projects, the MNRE has clarified that secondary cells and batteries of lead-acid and nickel-based chemistries are covered under Indian Standard (IS) 16270 for storage batteries that are used in solar PV power projects.

“The import of such cells and batteries will be allowed subject to IEC 61427 certification of the product and certificate issued by the MNRE, along with an undertaking from the vendor/supplier that the products will be utilized for solar PV power projects in the country only. Further, import of such products be allowed only if they meet the notified specifications,” it said in a notification.

“For applications other than solar, the concerned agency importing such batteries will need to produce the relevant documents to customs for the use of batteries including orders for supply in the country and submit an affidavit that the imported batteries are not to be used in solar applications.”

Terming it as a positive step for quality improvement, Debi Prasad Dash, Executive Director at India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), said: “The notification by MNRE on introduction of mandatory BIS certification on Solar PV modules, Inverters, Storage battery is a positive step by the government of India to import quality products in solar PV systems specifically for nickel, cadmium, lead-acid and secondary steps. BIS certification will help to improvise the system level, efficiency, quality control, and performance. IESA hope such steps should be implemented in other business verticals like an electric vehicle or backup applications to control low cost and low quality in battery imports.”

The IS 16270 standard gives general information relating to the requirements of the secondary batteries used in PV energy systems and to the typical methods of test used for the verification of the battery performances.

Other than storage batteries, the BIS registration order notified by MNRE covers solar PV modules and inverters to enforce quality control in solar power projects.

Source- pv magazine