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Solar panel serial number ledger

13 October 2021

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The Clean Energy Regulator (the agency) has developed a solar panel serial number ledger (the ledger) capability to strengthen the integrity of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) and the solar industry.

The ledger stores all solar panel serial numbers supplied to the Australian market that are eligible for small-scale technology certificates (STCs). Data in the ledger is used by the agency to assess eligibility of STC claims by cross referencing serial numbers in STC claims with serial numbers in the ledger. Data is provided to the agency by Australian manufacturers or importers/authorised suppliers of solar panels included in the Clean Energy Council’s (CEC’s) list of approved PV modules and eligible for installation under the SRES.

The ledger complements the Solar Panel Validation (SPV) initiative. SPV gives solar supply chain representatives early confirmation of solar panel eligibility before and at the time of installation. The ledger provides a secondary point of verification during the creation of STCs that do not use SPV. This enables the agency to differentiate solar panel serial numbers provided by authorised suppliers and potentially non-authorised suppliers. During early 2021, the agency conducted a consultation process to inform the design and implementation of the Ledger.

Benefits of the ledger

  • It enables us to enhance our regulatory framework and assists to prevent ineligible solar panels receiving Commonwealth incentives under the SRES, whilst complementing the SPV.
  • It allows manufacturers to remove risk to their brand from non-authorised suppliers bringing potentially ineligible solar panels to the Australian market that could be used in STC claims.
  • It decreases burden for manufacturers and agents by reducing the need for us to make individual requests for additional information about solar panel serial numbers to assess eligibility.

Who is required to provide data to the ledger?

The agency utilises condition 28 of the CEC's PV Module Listing Terms and Conditions to request solar panel serial number data for the ledger from Australian manufacturers and importers/authorised suppliers.

Australian importers/authorised suppliers of solar panels included on the CEC list of approved modules are also referred to as ‘responsible suppliers’ by the CEC. A responsible supplier is an Australian-based manufacturer or an Australian-based nominated importer for an overseas manufacturer.

All Australian manufacturers and importers/responsible suppliers are required to make all serial numbers of CEC approved PV modules available to the agency. This can happen in 2 ways:

  • If the Australian manufacturer or importer/responsible supplier participates in the SPV initiative, the verification service they work with will provide the agency with serial numbers on their behalf.
  • If the Australian manufacturer or importer/responsible supplier does not participate in the SPV initiative, then they will receive a CEC data request notice to provide serial numbers to the agency via our Client Portal and REC Registry.

Failure to comply with a CEC data request notice will indicate a breach of the CEC's PV Module Listing Terms and Conditions which may result in the removal of a manufacturer’s solar panel product from the CEC's approved PV module list. Removal from the CEC’s approved PV module list will affect your product's eligibility for STCs and may impact your Australian sales results.

If solar panel serial number data is not supplied to our ledger by an Australian manufacturer or importer/responsible supplier, including via a verification service provider operating in SPV, there may be a delay in processing or an inability for us to assess STC claims.

Australian importers that are not registered with the CEC as a responsible supplier of solar panels on the CEC list of approved PV modules will be unable to supply data to the ledger. For this reason, it is essential the CEC is notified of your status as an Australian responsible supplier of CEC approved PV modules, and that your business and contact details remain current. If you are unsure about your status as a responsible supplier for any CEC approved PV modules you import to Australia, contact the CEC directly to confirm.

Providing data to the ledger

The guidance documents below are designed to assist verification service providers (operating in the SPV Initiative) and Australian manufactures and importers/responsible suppliers to upload solar panel serial number data to the ledger.

documentasset:Ledger guidance for Verification Service Providers documentasset:Ledger guidance for Australian manufacturers and importers/responsible suppliers

How is ledger data stored?

The ledger’s data is held within the REC Registry and is not accessible to registered persons or agents participating in the SRES. Data provided to the agency is protected by a suite of controls and frameworks that are implemented in accordance with the Commonwealth’s Protected Security Policy Framework.

Agency STC processing and the ledger

STC claims using SPV experience fast track processing, claims without SPV take longer to process. The ledger will provide an additional point of reference during agency STC processing.

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