MNRE Sanctions Innovative Standalone Solar Pumps Installations

This comes after the ministry established representations from innovators appealing that better performance of pumps can be accomplished in a more cost-effective manner just by using different designs and software.

April 06, 2020. By News Bureau

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The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has lately decided to permit installation of innovative standalone solar pumps in test mode for which it has delivered draft guidelines and has invited for recommendations by 15 April, 2020.

This comes after the ministry established representations from innovators appealing that better performance of pumps can be accomplished in a more cost effective manner just by using different designs and software.

“The ministry will call Expressions of Interest (EoI) from time-to-time for inviting applications from solar pump innovators claiming better performance on account of improved efficiency, cost effectiveness, monitoring, other value addition, etc,” MNRE said in its notice.

It added that new technologies for which patent or IP-related filings have been done would also be eligible to participate in the EoI.

The applications would be assessed by an Evaluation Committee constituted by ministry. The Committee might recommend testing of performance of the pump at National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) or any other NABL-accredited laboratory before allowing installation of such pumps in the field.

“The innovator would need to submit the test report along with the applications, if it has been tested earlier. In cases, where the technology is in its nascent stage, special methods may be adopted to test the pumps in consultation with the innovator and NISE,” the ministry said.

After the recommendations of the Committee, the technology will be allowed for demonstration in the field after getting consent from the respective state implementing agency and the beneficiary farmers by the innovator.

The guidelines highlighted that the innovator would be allowed to install up to 50 solar pumps in different parts of the state or country for demonstration purposes.

“For payment, performance guarantee, etc, the innovators will be treated at par with other vendors selected through a competitive bidding process and awarded work for installation of solar water pumps in the respective state,” the draft guidelines said.

The field demonstration will continue for at least one year and the performance will be monitored on a real-time basis and access to remote monitoring facility for the installed pumps will be provided to NISE.

Every month, the innovator will have to submit a detailed performance report of the pump including a comparative analysis with similar capacity MNRE specified pump along with feedback to the Evaluation Committee.

“The Committee after detailed examination may recommend for adoption of successful innovation technology with certain modifications, if required,” the MNRE notice added.

After the recommendations of the Committee, the MNRE may adopt the technology and update the existing specification after having a detailed stakeholders’ consultation.

Currently, under the ministry’s PM-KUSUM scheme, only those standalone solar pumps which satisfy the ministry specifications are entitled to be installed.

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