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Overview of ALMM Certification 

MNRE, meaning the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, has made it compulsory for all solar cell and module manufacturers to register/certify under the ALMM, i.e., Approved List of Models and Manufacturers. The MNRE has issued a list of solar cell and module types manufacturers in India that are being certified by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The main focus behind this is to inspect the manufacturing unit physically, check the actual manufacturing facility and check the certifications with their validity. 

The list contains all the relevant or actual data of each and every manufacturer. It has the official address of all factories, their production capacity and the range of solar modules manufactured by them. In the most recent list, a total of 58 companies are listed, while in the first one, there were 23 companies listed. 

The MNRE has issued an updated list of approved models and manufacturers in the ALMM list, which came into effect on 29th September 2021 and is valid up to 28th September 2023, i.e., for two years. Till now, no foreign manufacturers have been included in the ALMM list. 

Benefits of obtaining ALMM Certification 

Following are the common benefits that can be enjoyed after getting certified under ALMM:

  • The models and manufacturers listed are only eligible for use in Government, Government assisted Projects or Projects, Government Schemes and Programmes. Here the word Government includes Central Government, State Government, Central Public Sector Enterprises, State Public Sector Enterprises and Central and State Organisations or Autonomous bodies.
  • Compliance with the Guidelines for Tariff Based Competitive Bidding Process for the Procurement of Power from Grid Connected Solar PV Power Projects and amendments made thereunder.
  • Compliance with guidelines issued by the Indian Government under Section 63 of the Electricity Act, 2003. 
  • Enlist in the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM). 
  • Improved quality of Solar PV Models 
  • Increase in producer's reliability 
  • Sustainability in India's solar market 
  • Tighten quality requirement 

Documents Required for ALMM Certification 

Followings are Documents that are duly required by the applicant while applying for the ALMM Certification:

  • Certificate of Incorporation 
  • Authorised letter for authorising the signatory to sign the said application 
  • Bis Certification or Registration, only if applicable. 
  • Certificates declaring standards from the Accredited Labs of BIS
  • An affidavit and indemnity bond in the prescribed format signed by the authorising signatory and attested by a Judicial Magistrate or Executive Magistrate or Notary Public
  • Evidence of financial and physical manufacturing capabilities
  • Details of purchase of raw materials 
  • Details of production and sales
  • Details of profit and loss account balance sheet 
  • Other relevant Documents 

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Procedure for ALMM Certification

Following are all the relevant steps to be followed while obtaining the ALMM Certification:

  • The applicant needs to file the prescribed application form for the ALMM Certification at the cell under the Union Government's MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy). 
  • The applicant needs to submit an application fee and evidence of the financial and physical manufacturing capabilities, ranging from the last three years or the period of existence of the respective unit, whichever is less. 
  • As evidence of financial and physical capabilities, the applicant needs to provide details of the purchase of raw materials, production and sales, profit and loss, etc. 
  • Applicant needs to submit all the relevant Documents along with the application of the ALMM Citification.
  • The implementation support agency cell verifies all submitted paper works and information along with the application. 
  • After getting satisfactory verification, the preliminary inspection is conducted where the applicant needs to submit details of its monthly purchase of raw materials, sales of finished goods, and bank statements showing transactions of purchase of the raw materials and sales of finished goods to the next year. The applicant provides a satisfactory performance certificate from buyers and a solvency certificate from the concerned bank. 
  • After completion of this preliminary inspection, if it is found that no operational issues or performance-based defaults are there, then the Authority goes for site inspection. 
  • The Implementation Support Agency conducts site inspections after payment of inspection fees by the applicant. 
  • The approved List of Solar Models and Manufacturers under the ALMM is uploaded on the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy website, and thus the ALMM Certification is granted. 

After getting certified under ALMM, the models and manufacturers are subject to a random quality check or test, including the inspection of the listed manufacturing sites, and if any failure or non-compliance is acknowledged, then they are removed from the ALMM. 

The renewal procedure is the same as the fresh Certification. For renewal, the applicant must submit all the required Documents and requisite fees similar to what was submitted at the time of fresh Certification. After renewal, the validity of such ALMM is extended by another two years. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The products that are covered under ALMM are as follows:
  • Solar Photovoltaic Modules 
  • Solar PV Cells

ALMM, i.e., Approved List of Models and Manufacturers, was first introduced by the government of India on 2nd January 2019.

The following issues related to ALMM:
  • It may impact the bankability of Solar Projects as there is a lack of clarity about the ALMM. 
  • Overlapping between BIS and ALMM compliances.
  • Fear in many developers' minds that the implementation of ALMM has deterred foreign manufacturers from supplying products in India. 

The SPV stands for Solar Photo Voltaic. The SPV cells convert solar radiation into electricity. A solar cell is a semi-conducting device made of silicon or other materials, which, when exposed to sunlight, generates electricity.

Solar Thermal Power systems (also known as Concentrating Solar Power Systems) use concentrated solar radiation as a high-temperature energy source to produce electricity.

MNRE made it mandatory for all solar cell and module manufacturers to register under ALMM to reduce dependency of India on solar imports and self-reliance.

As per the ALMM guidelines, the term model refers to the modules or cells of the same nominal power output rating. All BIS-approved modules or cells of the applicant with the same nominal power output rating are treated as one Model.

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