Solar industry threatened by inverter standard deadline

Wednesday, 15 December, 2021

Solar industry threatened by inverter standard deadline

If the deadline for solar inverter approval is not extended, the Australian solar industry could be forced to shut down later this month.

AS/NZS 4777.2, the new standard for solar inverters, will come into effect on 18 December 2021. The new standard requires the manufacturing testing laboratories (all of which are overseas) be re-accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA).

Master Electricians Australia (MEA) said that very few existing inverters are compliant. There are significant issues with getting inverters approved as there are no approved testing facilities in the country. The risk profile of these products has not significantly altered due to the changes introduced by the new standard.

According to MEA, the industry is urgently facing a significant lag in the testing of complying products from recognised overseas testing laboratories.

There has been little to no advice to installers about the effect the change and the resultant lag in NATA-approved laboratories has been communicated by manufacturers, wholesalers or regulators. As a result, many small businesses are now faced with a shortage of complying products and an overstock of the old product after the 18 December deadline.

MEA said it has joined with NECA and CEC to write to all state and federal government ministers requesting an urgent stay on the implementation of the new rules.

It is advocating for a six-month stay to enable time for manufacturers to become compliant.

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