Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Corporation Limited (APEPDCL) has discovered the lowest bid of ₹50,000 (~$673)/kW for residential rooftop solar systems of up to 1 kW under the capital expenditure (CAPEX) model.

The bids were in response to the tenders floated by APEPDCL to empanel agencies to install the rooftop solar systems. The projects were set to be developed under the CAPEX model.

According to APEPDCL, 17 installers have been empaneled to install rooftop solar systems with capacities ranging from 1 kW to 500 kW. Of the 17 installers, 14 are enlisted to install systems with capacities from 1 kW to 10 kW. Two agencies are empanelled to install systems of 2 kW to 500 kW, and one agency to install 10 kW to 500 kW systems.

The lowest quoted project cost for a rooftop solar system up to 1 kW was ₹50,000 (~$673)/kW, ₹47,000 (~$623)/kW for a 1 kW to 2 kW system, ₹45,000 (~$605)/kW for a 2 kW to 3 kW system, ₹44,000 (~$592)/kW for a 3 kW to 10 kW system. For the systems of 10 kW to 100 kW, the lowest project cost quoted was ₹38,000 (~$511)/kW and ₹36,000 (~$484)/kW for systems of 100 kW to 500 kW.

The central financial assistance (CFA) for the systems will be permissible only if the vendor uses domestic manufactured solar panels (using domestic manufactured solar cells) listed under the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) according to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) order dated March 10, 2021.

The CFA of 40% on the benchmark cost will be provided for systems up to 3 kW. For systems above 3 kW and up to 10 kW, a CFA of 40% will be applicable for only the first 3 kW capacity, and for others, it will be 20%. For group housing societies and residential welfare associations, the CFA will be restricted to 20% for common facilities up to 500 kW.

APEPDCL said it would provide a subsidy of ₹18,800 (~$252) for a 1 kW rooftop solar system considering a 40% subsidy on MNRE’s benchmark cost of ₹47,000 (~$623). Effectively, the cost of a 1 kW rooftop solar system for the consumer would be ₹31,200 (~$420) which is ₹50,000 (~$673) minus ₹18,800 (~$252).

In February 2021, the MNRE had approved an 8 MW capacity under phase II of the rooftop solar program for APEPDCL. The Ministry has provided a 15-month timeline to allocate the approved capacity.

V Vijaya Lalita, Chief General Manager of Energy Conservation, Energy Audit, and Solar, APEPDCL, told Mercom, “The facility would be extended to districts like Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, East Godavari, and West Godavari through grid-connected residential rooftop solar projects by APEPDCL.”

Mercom had earlier reported that Andhra Pradesh’s distribution companies had requested the state’s electricity regulatory commission to only allow gross metering for rooftop solar systems in the state.

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