Cost of Large-Scale and Rooftop Solar Projects Rose Slightly in Q3 2020

Most of the component costs held steady in the third quarter


The average cost of large-scale solar projects stood at about ₹34.5 million (~$466,468)/MW as of the third quarter of 2020 (Q3 2020), according to Mercom’s recently released Q3 2020 India Solar Market Update.

This represented a nearly 8% decline from the same period last year when prices stood at about ₹37.5 million (~$507,031)/MW. However, costs were up marginally from the previous quarter (Q2 2020) when large-scale solar projects cost ₹34.4 million (~$465,116)/MW.

Q3 2020 Average Large-scale Solar Project Cost per MW

Meanwhile, the average cost per MW for rooftop solar installations stood at ₹36.7 million (~$496,214)/MW, down about 6% from the same quarter last year when the cost was ₹39.1 million (~$528,664)/MW. In Q2 2020, the average cost for setting up rooftop solar systems was slightly lower at ₹36.5 million (~$493,510)/MW.

While the average costs for large-scale and rooftop solar fell steadily over the last several quarters, they have risen slightly this quarter as a result of the rise in module prices due to a shortage of glass, supply issues, the nationwide lockdown, and tighter import restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q3 2020 Average Rooftop Solar System Cost in India per MW

However, rooftop solar developers said they had witnessed a rise in interest from commercial and industrial (C&I) customers over the last few months amid the pandemic. C&I consumers have slowly started to realize that going solar is one of the best ways to cut down operational costs.

Residential consumers have also started expressing interest in going solar due to the fall in installations on the back of attractive subsidies and government incentives. Mercom has previously written about how much money these systems can help consumers save.

Mercom’s latest report showed that India added 438 MW of solar in the third quarter of 2020 (Q3 2020), a 114% rise over last quarter’s 205 MW. While this was an improvement from the quarter before, solar installations were still about 80% lower from the same quarter the previous year, which saw nearly 2.2 GW of solar capacity additions.