Solar rooftop tariff touches lowest-ever rate of Rs 1.58 in Madhya Pradesh

The premises of Power Grid Corporation in Madhya Pradesh will be getting the cheapest solar power at Rs 1.58 a kilowatt per hour (unit), which is the lowest in the country so far. New Delhi-based AMPSOLAR India has bid the lowest for 10 sites of the central government PSUs. It has bid Rs 1.67 for some other central government buildings in the state.  

The highest tariff of Rs 4.13 came from ReNew Solar Energy for supply to a private company. Madhya Pradesh's RESCO tender attracted 31 international and domestic bidders, who oversubscribed its 35+ MWp rooftop tender capacity by more than 630 per cent. The projects will have a subsidy from the Union and state governments -- 25 per cent from the Union Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) and 20 per cent from the Madhya Pradesh government.   

"The solar rooftop sector has been struggling with issues like significant upfront cost for individual consumers and lack of enabling framework for Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to develop scalable business model. The bid results for 35 MWp Solar Rooftop tender are testimony to numerous policy, contractual and procedural innovations deployed in the RESCO programme to find solutions to these gaps," said Manu Srivastava, principal secretary, renewable energy, in the Madhya Pradesh government.

Among all state government buildings, the lowest rate is for municipal bodies, which would get power at Rs 1.69. Tariff of Rs 1.74 per unit has been discovered for medical colleges, which is about one-fourth of what they are presently paying. Police establishments all over the state would get power at Rs 2.33. All government engineering colleges, ITIs and polytechnics would get power at Rs 2.35 per unit. The lowest rate among private institutions has been Rs 2.28 per unit by Archita Renewable Energy. 

The RESCO model facilitates the beneficiary consumer to buy solar power with zero upfront investment and at rates much below the prevailing DISCOM rates. The beneficiary consumer pays for the electricity as it is generated by the selected contractor, who undertakes design, supply and installation, along with comprehensive operation and maintenance for 25 years. The selection of the contractor is made on the basis of the lowest tariff offered.