MNRE increases benchmark costs for rooftop solar projects for 2021-22

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has notified benchmark costs for grid-connected rooftop solar systems for 2021-22. For system capacities of 10 kW-100 kW, the benchmark cost for rooftop solar installations in states other than special category states is Rs 41.64/W, a 9.6 per cent increase over the previous year. Special category states (North Eastern States, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar) have seen a 9.9 per cent increase over the previous year with capacities of 1kW to 2kW at Rs 51.67/W.

Solar modules (with domestic cells and modules) and inverters (single/3 phase) are included in the benchmark cost along with balance of system, civil works, installation and commissioning, comprehensive maintenance contract for five years, transportation, insurance, and taxes. These costs are important to determine the applicable subsidies on residential rooftop solar projects by MNRE.

In April 2021, the Ministry of Power (MoP) has notified an amendment to the draft Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020. The draft rules were originally released on December 31, 2020, under section 176 of the Electricity Act, 2003. As per the amendment, wherever the regulations do not provide for net metering, gross metering, net billing or net feed-in, the commission may allow net metering to the prosumer for loads up to 500 kW or up to the sanctioned load, whichever is lower and net-billing or net feed-in for other loads.

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