The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has notified the new benchmark cost for off-grid solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and rooftop solar projects for the financial year (FY) 2018-19.
The new benchmark costs will apply to all the implementing agencies which are involved in developing projects awarded under the off-grid and decentralized solar program as well as those developing rooftop solar and small solar projects but have not issued the work order/LoA to date.
For grid-connected rooftop solar projects of capacity more than 1 kW and up to 10 kW, MNRE has fixed benchmark cost at ₹60 (~$0.878)/Wp. The new benchmark cost for this category is ₹10 (~$0.1464)/Wp lower than the previous benchmark cost of ₹70 (~$1.0251)/Wp for rooftop solar PV projects up to 10 kW.
For grid-connected rooftop solar projects of capacity more than 10 kW and up to 100 kW, the benchmark cost has been fixed at ₹55 (~$0.805)/Wp. The new benchmark cost is ₹10 (~$0.1464)/Wp lower than the previous benchmark cost of ₹65 (~$0.951)/Wp for this category.
Benchmark cost for grid-connected rooftop solar PV projects of capacity above 100 kW and up to 500 kW has been fixed at ₹53 (~$0.776)/Wp. The new benchmark cost is ₹7 (~$0.1025)/Wp less than the previous benchmark cost of ₹60 (~$0.878)/Wp for this category.
MNRE has set ₹85,000 (~$1,244.85)/horse power (HP) as the benchmark cost for solar pump up to 3 HP DC capacity in general category states and ₹93,500 (~$1,369.33)/HP as benchmark cost for the same solar pump in special category states (north eastern states, hilly states, and union territories).
For solar pump of more than 3 HP DC capacity and up to 5 HP DC capacity, the benchmark cost in general category states is ₹77,000 (~$1,127.68)/HP and in special category states it is ₹84,700 (~$1,240.45)/HP.
For solar pumps of 3 HP AC capacity, the benchmark cost is ₹80,000 (~$1,171.62)/HP in general category states and ₹88,000 (~$1,288.78)/HP in special category states. For solar pumps of capacity more than 3 HP AC and up to 5 HP AC, the benchmark cost is ₹65,000 (~$951.942)/HP in general category states and ₹71,500 (~$1,047.14)/HP in special category states.
When contacted, an MNRE official told Mercom, “This is the second year in a row in which we have issued benchmark costs for these categories of products. Acceptance of solar pumps and solar lamps is increasing. These benchmark costs will ensure that people do not end up paying in excess and incur losses.”
“Benchmark costs will help expedite the process and boost project development for off-grid, standalone and rooftop solar,” added the MNRE official.
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