Some of lowest ever prices for rooftop solar entered in India bid

With prices for solar dropping dramatically around the world, it is encouraging to hear of yet more extraordinarily low prices being bid for solar projects in India. These bids have been entered in SECI’s 500 MW solar rooftop auction, which is an excellent step in the right direction to achieve the country’s target of having 40 GW of rooftop PV installed by 2022.

SECI released the list of the lowest bids that have come in from all of the states across the country, for Part B of the auction, which covers rooftop projects from 2 MW to 20 MW. Incredibly, four states have entered bids as low as Rs.3 (USD 0.0448) per kWh, which is one of the lowest prices ever to be quoted for rooftop projects including subsidies.

Each of India’s states have been grouped into two distinct categories, with vastly different levels of subsidies for each of the two. Solar projects in the ‘general category states’ will receive subsidies of 30%, while the solar projects that fall within the ‘special category states and islands’ will receive an impressive 70% in subsidies. According to Mercom Capital, splitting the auction into these two categories has resulted in a significant increase in bidders.

How low can you go

Due to the high level of subsidies attached to the ‘special category states and islands’ it was within these regions that the lowest priced bids were entered. In fact, the states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry, and Chandigarh all had bids for solar projects of just Rs.3 per kWh, which works out at USD 0.0448 per kWh.

The prices quoted from the ‘general category states’ were understandably higher, but were still at a low level. The cheapest bid came within Maharashtra at Rs. 4.46 (USD 0.666) per kWh, which was closely followed by Rajasthan at Rs. 4.5 (USD0.0672) per kWh and Karnataka at Rs. 4.56 (USD 0.0680) per kWh. With Delhi and Odisha also under Rs. 5 per kWh.

Zeroing in specifically on the state of Haryana, there was additional positive rooftop solar news coming out of the state yesterday, as the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) quadrupled the incentives offered for rooftop solar consumers in the state. As part of the new program, consumers opting to install solar rooftop systems will receive an incentive of Rs. 1 per kWh from HERC, up from Rs. 0.25 per kWh, on top of the state incentives. This initiative will run until the end of the current financial year.