The Himachal Pradesh Energy Development Agency (HIMURJA) has released the approved benchmark costs for grid-connected residential rooftop solar projects for the financial years 2022-23 and 2023-24.
Benchmark costs include the balance of the system such as cable, switches, circuit breaker, connector, junction box, mounting structure, earthing, lightning arrester, civil works, installation and commissioning, and comprehensive maintenance contract for five years, transportation, insurance, and taxes. However, it excludes net metering costs and battery backup costs.
The newly approved benchmark costs in Himachal Pradesh for grid-connected residential rooftop solar systems of 1 kW to 3 kW in size is ₹50,000 ($664)/kW, and for projects above 3 kW and up to 10 kW, it is ₹48,6000 ($645)/kW. For projects of 10 kW up to 100 kW, the cost considered is ₹45,000 (~$598)kW, and for projects above 100 kW and up to 500 kW, it is ₹42,000 (~$558)/kW.
The benchmark cost for residential rooftop solar systems is set by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and the states for the particular financial years. The central financial assistance (CFA) or the subsidy for these systems is calculated as a percentage of the benchmark cost set by MNRE or the cost discovered in the states or union territories in a specific year, whichever is lower.
As per the existing benchmark costs, MNRE provides a CFA of up to 40% for residential rooftop solar systems up to 3 kW capacity under its Phase-II grid-connected rooftop solar program. For rooftop systems of capacity above 3 kW and up to 10 kW, the CFA of 40% would be applicable only for the first 3 kW capacity, and for capacity above 3 kW, the CFA would be limited to 20%. For group housing societies or residential welfare associations, CFA will be limited to 20% for installing the rooftop system to supply power to common facilities. The capacity eligible for CFA will be limited to 10 kW per house and total up to 500 kW.
MNRE is still to release its benchmark costs for FY 2023. The benchmark cost of FY 2022 was announced in November 2021.
According to MNRE, subsidy under Phase-II of the grid-connected rooftop solar program will be available to all eligible households for rooftop solar installation as per regulations of the respective State Electricity Regulatory Commission and program implementation guidelines.
Under the program, distribution companies—or their authorized agencies will invite Expressions of Interest (EoI) for empanelling the agencies to supply, install, test, and commission rooftop solar systems in residential premises. Bidders within the lowest bid (L1) price bracket will be empaneled and provide services to the consumers at the lowest agreed tariff rate.
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Arjun Joshi is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, he worked as a technical writer for enterprise resource software companies based in India and abroad. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Psychology, and Optional English from Garden City University, Bangalore. More articles from Arjun Joshi.