The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a downward revision of benchmark costs excluding taxes for decentralized and off-grid solar systems for the financial year (FY) 2021-22.
In August this year, MNRE issued the benchmark costs for FY 2021-22. Subsequently, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council revised the GST for solar energy applications and projects. The revision necessitated the change in benchmark costs for decentralized solar applications.
MNRE has stated that the applicable GST rates may be added to the benchmark costs for the purpose of central financial assistance (CFA).
The revised benchmark costs will be applicable from August 18, 2021 (date of the original order of the benchmark costs for FY 2021-22). The amended benchmark costs include the total cost of the system and its installations, commissioning, transportation, insurance, warranty, monitoring, and maintenance for five years.
The revised benchmark cost for standalone solar pumps ranges from ₹96,877 (~$1,290) to ₹469,054 (~$6,246) for general category states. For the northeastern region, hill states, islands, and union territories (UTs), the benchmark costs hover around ₹105,509 (~$1,405) to ₹511,202 (~$6,807). Earlier, the benchmark cost for the general category states was in the range of ₹105,500 (~$1,418) to ₹510,800 (~$6,868), and for the northeastern region, hill states, islands, and UTs, the benchmark cost was ₹114,900 (~$1,544) to ₹556,700 (~$7,485).
The table below shows the amended benchmark costs for standalone solar pumps in general category states, union territories, northeastern region, hilly states, and islands.
The amended benchmark cost for solarization of grid-connected agriculture pumps also applies to general category states, northeastern, hilly states, islands, and UTs. For solarization of grid-connected agricultural pumps, the benchmark cost is the range of ₹37,649 (~$501.38)/kW to ₹44,352 ($590.65)/kW for various categories. Earlier, it was in the range of ₹41 (~$0.55)/W to ₹48.3 (~$0.64)/W for various categories.
The amended benchmark cost for solar study lamps for the FY 2021-22 is now ₹376 (~$5)/system. Also, the revised benchmark cost for solar lamps with lithium-ion batteries has been reduced to ₹13,039 (~$174)/system. Earlier, the benchmark cost for solar study lamps was ₹395 (~$5.3)/system, and the benchmark for solar street lights with lithium-ion batteries was ₹14,200 (~$191)/system.
The revised benchmark cost for standalone solar power projects and battery packs is in the range of ₹50 (~$0.7)/W to ₹86 (~$1.1)/W for capacity up to 25 kW. Earlier, the benchmark cost ranged from ₹55 (~$0.73)/W to ₹94 (~$1.25)/W for various categories up to the maximum capacity of 25 kW.
The table below gives the amended benchmark costs for standalone solar power projects and packs for various categories:
Earlier this year, MNRE had issued benchmark costs for grid-connected rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems for FY 2021-22. These costs are applicable for all projects to be awarded and for empanelment of vendors by state implementing agencies under phase-II of the MNRE’s rooftop solar program after ten days from the notification, i.e., August 28, 2021.
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Rakesh Ranjan is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.