Chennai: The prices of domestic rooftop solar panels under the chief minister’s solar rooftop capital incentive scheme (CIS) could come down further with the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency floating bids to empanel new vendors.
TEDA’s plan to empanel new vendors has come at a time when the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has reduced the benchmark cost for a kilowatt capacity grid tied and battery-less rooftop solar photovoltaic system by 25 per cent to `75,000. With the falling prices of solar panels, TEDA hopes to discover lower prices for rooftop SPV system to make it more appealing to consumers in terms of price.
At present, the lowest price for a kilowatt rooftop solar panel sold by a TEDA vendor is `50,500. When the TEDA empanelled vendors under the CIS in 2014, the MNRE’s benchmark cost stood at Rs 1 lakh per KW. A senior TEDA official said that the bid was floated to empanel new vendors following the end of two-year term.
“MNRE had reduced the benchmark cost from Rs 1 lakh per KW in 2014 to Rs 80,000 per KW in 2015. Now it has brought it down to Rs 75,000 per kw. We are hoping many new vendors will participate in the bidding besides the 24 empanelled vendors. Higher participation will ensure discovery of “good price”, the official said.
With the reduction in the benchmark cost, the 30 per cent subsidy provided by MNRE also came down to Rs 22,500 per KW from Rs 30,000 KW in 2014, the official said, adding that the total subsidy for a kilowatt rooftop systems would be Rs 42,500 including Tamil Nadu government’s incentive of Rs 20,000. So far, TEDA has made 1,995 installations commissioned with net meters.
One of the empanelled vendors of TEDA said that various factors determine the cost of the rooftop solar system include panels, inverters and kind of mounting structure required for placing the panels. He said that installing solar panels on an open, shadow-free rooftop is cheaper. “If you need to extend the structure to mount the panels, it will cost more,” he noted.