The Clean Energy Regulator has partnered with the solar industry and peak bodies to introduce the Solar Panel Validation Pilot. The pilot allows businesses in the Small-scale Renewable Energy scheme supply chain to quickly and easily check if solar panels are genuine before they are installed.
The Solar Panel Validation Pilot is made up of two parts — an app for installers to use on a mobile device and a database of verified information for solar panels, including solar panel serial numbers. Installers use the app to scan solar panel serial numbers, which are then checked against a database to ensure they are approved.
The Solar Panel Validation Pilot aims to protect the integrity of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme and industry by providing an easy way to check that panels are genuine, approved panels. Genuine, approved panels are panels that are backed by manufacturer warranties and meet Australian standards for quality and performance and are eligible for small-scale technology certificates.
The pilot project will start in mid-2017.
Industry participants in the pilot were identified through an expression of interest process. Participants in the pilot are investing their own funds to build installer apps that will collect serial number information and new validation databases that the apps synch with to check the authenticity of the serial numbers.
Apps and validation services are now being developed by:
During the pilot, installers and retailers that are working with the pilot participants will use the new apps to scan and check solar panel serial numbers against the validation databases. This electronic check will create a validated data package that can be provided to the customer and REC Agents. Agents can then include this data package when they apply for small-scale technology certificates. The package will be automatically uploaded into the REC Registry when completing the ‘Register small generation unit’ REC Registry online form. As part of the pilot, the Clean Energy Regulator will assess whether use of the data packages can allow for a more streamlined assessment process.
If the pilot is successful, the Clean Energy Regulator will consider options to expand the initiative in the second half of 2017.
Validating solar panels before they are installed is important, as:
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