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HIMURJA Announces Benchmark Costs For Residential Rooftop Solar Projects

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The authorized benchmark pricing for grid-connected residential rooftop solar projects for fiscal years 2022-23 and 2023-24 has been announced by Himachal Pradesh Energy Development Agency (HIMURJA).

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The recently authorized benchmark cost for grid-connected residential rooftop solar systems of 1 kW to 3 kW in size is Rs 50,000/kW, and for projects larger than 3 kW and up to 10 kW, it is Rs 48,600/kW. The cost considered for projects of 10 kW to 100 kW is Rs 45,000/kW, while the cost for projects over 100 kW and up to 500 kW is Rs 42,000/kW.

Benchmark costs do not include net metering or battery backup expenses. It consists of the system’s balance cost, which includes cable, mounting structure, circuit breaker, connector, switches, junction box, earthing, lightning arrester, installation, civil works, and commissioning, and a five-year comprehensive maintenance contract, transportation, taxes and insurance. 

The benchmark cost for residential rooftop solar systems is determined for each fiscal year by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and the states.

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The central financial aid (CFA) or subsidy for these systems is computed as a percentage of the MNRE benchmark cost or the cost established in the states or union territories in a given year, whichever is less. 

These subsidies will be accessible to all qualified households for rooftop solar installations, in accordance with State Electricity Regulatory Commission laws and programme implementation guidelines.

MNRE offers a CFA of up to 40% for residential rooftop solar systems up to 3 kW capacity under its Phase-II grid-connected rooftop solar program, based on existing benchmark pricing. 

For rooftop systems with capacities greater than 3 kW and up to 10 kW, the CFA of 40% would apply only to the first 3 kW capacity, while the CFA is only 20% for the remaining capacities above 3 kW. 

CFA will be limited to 20% for residential welfare associations or group housing societies assembling rooftop solar systems to supply power to shared amenities. CFA-eligible capacity will be restricted to 10 kW per dwelling and a total of 500 kW.

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Under the scheme, distribution firms or their authorized agents will solicit expressions of interest from organizations interested in installing, testing, supplying, and commissioning rooftop solar systems in residential properties. Bidders with the lowest bid price bracket will be appointed and will supply services to consumers at the lowest agreed-upon tariff rate.

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