In May 2020 the Clean Energy Regulator (the agency) accepted an
enforceable undertaking offered by Trina Solar (Australia) Pty Ltd (Trina Solar) to
address anomalies found in solar panel serial number data. The data had been provided by Trina Solar to a verification service participating in the solar panel validation (SPV) initiative.
Trina Solar and the agency have worked together to analyse the integrity of that data and the STC eligibility of panels that have been installed.
The agency is now satisfied that Trina Solar has appropriate procedures in place to ensure that only eligible solar panel serial number data is being uploaded to SPV. This means that small-scale technology certificate (STC) claims involving Trina Solar panels will return to processing in the same way as all other solar panel brands.
The agency has also conducted extensive assessments on Trina Solar serial number data uploaded since May 2020 and is satisfied that only eligible solar panel serial numbers have been uploaded to SPV since that time.
Trina Solar and the agency continue to work together to check the eligibility of panels supplied or installed prior to May 2020.
Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) participants can rely on, and should continue to use, SPV to verify solar panels for eligibility under the scheme. Using SPV is still the best risk reduction tool for agents to avoid improper STC creation from ineligible panels. The agency will continue to fast track the processing of STC claims using SPV within 24 hours (subject to all scheme requirements being met) and process all other claims according to our average timeframe of 4-6 weeks.
The agency will continue to spot check manufacturers participating in SPV to ensure SPV data integrity.
Ineligible solar panels remain a risk to the SRES, particularly where SPV is not used with STC claims.
The agency will continue to request additional information regarding solar panel eligibility for STC claims that do not use SPV. Agents can expect a reduction in requests regarding Trina Solar panels but will receive requests regarding eligibility for all solar panel brands on a risk-based sampling approach.
Where SPV is not used for STC claims, agents must have appropriate due diligence checks in place to ensure the information provided to them and used to create STCs is correct. Incorrect information may indicate fraudulent behaviour and ineligibility to create STCs. In the past, agents have had to surrender STCs for false claims or replace panels, including where their due diligence practices were inadequate to identify false information.
If you would like more information on STC eligibility, please contact the Clean Energy Regulator on 1300 553 542 or at
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