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TUV open Indian facility

Testing and certification company TUV Rhineland has opened a new solar PV module testing facility in Asia. The move would help the company take advantage of the booming solar power industry in India.

TUV Rhineland is expected to release the results of the first batch of testing done on solar PV modules in India over the next month or two. The results would be of great utility to prospective project developers who plan to participate in the several solar power project auctions planned by state governments and the central government.

Grading of solar PV modules will help the project developers make informed decisions when they place bids at the auctions. Solar power project auctions in India are marked by excessive competition which has led to massive decline in the price of solar power raising concerns over financial viability of the projects among Indian banks.

The central government plans to continue with its policy that requires mandatory use of solar PV modules manufactured in India for at least a portion of the capacity that it auctions under the National Solar Mission. Indian manufacturers have about 2 GW of cumulative production capacity but only about a third of it is operational.

State governments do not usually place restrictions on use of imported modules and a clarity on the effectiveness, reliability, and performance of imported modules in Indian conditions would be invaluable to project developers as well as lenders. Imported solar PV modules have played a major role in driving India’s solar power revolution.

TUV Rhineland is currently operating four such testing centers around the world — in Germany, the US, Italy and Saudi Arabia. The company aims to offer research and development input for module manufacturers in order to help them optimize module performance across various climatic conditions. Indian module manufacturers benefit from the information provided by the company through its certification and testing methods in improving the efficiencies of their modules and make them more suitable for the Indian conditions.

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