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Requirements for solar PV component manufacturers and importers

23 March 2022

RET

Manufacturers and importers of solar panels and inverters with products on the Clean Energy Council's (CEC) approved PV module and approved inverter lists have additional obligations under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme.

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Requirements for solar panel manufacturers or importers

From 1 April 2022, manufacturers or importers of solar panels eligible for small-scale technology certificates (STCs) (and listed on the CEC's approved PV modules list) are required under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001 to provide serial number data to the Clean Energy Regulator's solar panel serial number ledger.

Solar panel serial number ledger

The ledger stores all solar panel serial numbers supplied to the Australian market that are eligible for 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 CEC’s list of approved PV modules and eligible for STCs 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 for solar panels that do not use SPV. This enables the agency to differentiate solar panel serial numbers provided by authorised suppliers and potentially non-authorised suppliers.

Who is required to provide data to the ledger?

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 be required to provide serial numbers to the agency via our Client Portal and REC Registry.

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 solar panel serial number ledger

Australian manufacturers and/or importers of solar panels should provide their serial number data as soon as possible after their product enters Australia. This assists to ensure serial number data is available to the agency for the purposes of assessing solar panel eligibility in STC claims.

Guidance documents are available on the forms and resources for manufacturers page 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.

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 Providersdocumentasset:Ledger guidance for Australian manufacturers and importers/responsible suppliers

Requirements for inverter manufacturers and importers

From 1 April 2022, Australian manufacturers or importers of inverters eligible for STCs (and listed on the CEC's approved inverter list) are required under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001 to provide serial number data to the Clean Energy Regulator's inverter serial number ledger.

Inverter serial number ledger

The ledger stores all inverter 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 inverters included in the CEC’s list of approved inverters and eligible for installation under the SRES.

Who is required to provide data to the ledger?

Australian importers/authorised suppliers of inverters included on the CEC list of approved inverters 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 inverters available to the agency via our Client Portal.

Australian importers that are not registered with the CEC as a responsible supplier of inverters on the CEC list of approved inverters 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 inverters, and that your business and contact details remain current. If you are unsure about your status as a responsible supplier for any CEC approved inverters you import to Australia, contact the CEC directly to confirm.

Providing data to the inverter serial number ledger

Australian manufacturers and/or importers of inverters should provide their serial number data as soon as possible after their product enters Australia. This assists to ensure serial number data is available to the agency for the purposes of assessing inverter eligibility in STC claims.

The guidance documents below are designed to assist Australian manufacturers and importers/responsible suppliers to upload inverter serial number data to the ledger.

STC processing and solar panel and inverter ledgers

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.

How is data stored?

Data from the agency's solar panel and inverter ledgers is held within the agency's internal ICT infrastructure 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 Protective Security Policy Framework.

Solar panel and inverter manufacturer compliance

Failure to provide solar panel and inverter serial number data will indicate non-compliance with the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001. This may result in the agency declaring a solar PV module or inverter ineligible under the SRES, a declaration of ineligibility means that the solar panel or inverter is not eligible for STCs which may impact your Australian sales results.

If serial number data is not supplied to our solar panel and inverter ledgers 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.


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