The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has published the new benchmark costs for Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Power Plants for the Year 2019- 20. The costs are categorized in two parts i.e. special category states & other states. Special category states are the ones which are low on resources & cannot mobilize resources for development. This was first initiated in 1969 during the 5th Finance Commission. Initially, only three states were given a special status (Assam, Nagaland & Jammu-Kashmir), later eight more states were included in the list (Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura, and Uttarakhand). The benchmark cost for FY 19-20 is as follows:
Prior to this notification, the benchmark cost for Grid-connected solar plants for FY 17-18 was not category-specific.
The new benchmark costs will be applicable to all the implementing agencies involved in developing rooftop solar projects. Across all the categories of the SPV plants, the rates of the benchmark cost have reduced considerably. However, the rates for special category states are reduced less as compared to the general states, since the ministry is trying to promote rooftop solar installations in these states as well.