The Indian wind industry is taken aback by an order of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), issued on Monday, giving exemption to wind turbines set up in special economic zones and export-oriented units from getting approval under the ‘Revised List of Models and Manufacturers’ (RLMM). 

RLMM, a mechanism that has been in vogue for a long time, is known for its rigour in approving wind turbines that can be set up in India. Every machine, Indian or foreign, needs this approval before it is introduced in the market.  

Hence the exemption has come as a surprise to many in the industry.

The MNRE office memorandum, dated May 27, says that renewable energy plants located inside an SEZ or an EOU for supplying power exclusively for the production of green hydrogen “shall be exempt from the purview of RLMM.” This shall hold for all wind turbines that will be set up before December 31, 2030. 

The industry is aghast. Many industry leaders that businessline spoke to said that the order was strange, especially as it comes in the middle of the elections. They wondered if this order violates the Model Code of Conduct, as it is a significant step for the wind industry. 

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One industry veteran, who requested not to be named, said that the order seemed to favour “a large industrial conglomerate” which not only has interests in SEZs, green hydrogen and renewable energy but also intends to bring in a 3.2 MW turbine from Windey Energy Technology of China.  

Another industry insider, who also requested not to be named, to avoid the wrath of the government, said that not getting an RLMM type certification could seriously compromise the quality of machines set up and potentially be dangerous. 

“This is a blatant and brazen violation of the EC’s Model Code of Conduct. Who benefits? One of the two TempoMen?” posted Congress leader, Jairam Ramesh, on X.

There was no response from MNRE to an email sent by businessline at the time of going to print.