The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a notification for new benchmark costs of grid-connected rooftop solar systems for the current financial year (2020-21). As per the notification, these costs are inclusive of total system cost including PV solar modules, inverters, the balance of systems including cables, switches, circuit breakers, connectors, junction boxes, mounting structure, earthing, lightning arrester, cost of meters, local connectivity cost, cost of civil works, foundations as well as its installation, commissioning, transportation, insurance, the capital cost of online monitoring, comprehensive maintenance charges for five years, applicable fees and taxes. However, benchmark costs exclude net metering costs and battery back-up costs.
The benchmark cost for the projects with a capacity ranging between 1 kW and 2 kW has been set at Rs 43,000 per kW. The benchmark cost, which was earlier Rs 54,000 per kW has been significantly reduced. Further, this decline was steeper than the cut from the year before where the cost was Rs 60,000 per kW in 2018-19. However, in the special category states such as Northeastern states, Uttarakhand, Himachal, Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar islands, the benchmark has been set at Rs 47,000 per kW down Rs 12,000 per kW from the previous fiscal. For projects with a capacity range between 2 kW and 3 kW, the rate for general category states will be Rs 42,000 per kW and for special category states Rs 46,000 per kW, while for projects with a capacity range 3 kW and 10 kW have a rate of Rs 41,000 per kW and Rs 45,000 per kW for general and special categories respectively. For larger projects above 100 kW and below 500 kW, the benchmark has been set at Rs 36,000 per kW in the general category states. In the special category states the rate has been lowered to Rs 40,000 kW.