CERC determines new benchmark CAPEX for Solar PV plants for FY-2016-17

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission determines the benchmark cost for installation of solar PV and Solar Thermal plants for FY 2016-17. Consultation with major stakeholders including IPP player, EPC player and other were done while determining the CAPEX.

As expected and following the southward trends since in the various biddings for the solar tariff , the benchmark cost has been reduced by 530.02 lakhs/MW for Solar PV . On the other hand benchmark cost of Solar Thermal projects is kept unchanged in comparison to last FY i.e at Rs. 12.00 Cr/MW

FY-2015-16 FY-2016-17 % change
Solar PV 605.85 530.02 -12.51%
Solar Thermal 1200 1200 0.00


Some of the major assumptions while determining the CAPEX for solar PV and the benchmark tariff is as follows:

CERC Proposed CERC Approved Comments
Module Prices Rs.310.19 lakhs/MW Rs.310.19 lakhs/MW Assuming prices will be stable in coming FY.
Exchange Rate Rs 64.58 /USD Rs 66.59 /USD As per RBI website
Module Degradation 0.6%, which gives a module degradation cost of Rs 9.89 lakhs/MW


0.5%, which gives a module degradation cost of Rs 8.77 lakhs/MW


Average PLF is fixed 19% for solar PV , thus degradation is only additional benefit to developers.
Land Rs.25 lakhs/MW Rs.25 lakhs/MW The projects are typically developed on barren land and cost of land is stagnant over last few years.
Civil & General works Rs.35 lakhs/MW Rs.35 lakhs/MW Though the cost may vary with location, but generally for larger MW scale project the MW cost gets normalized.
Mounting Structures


Rs. 35 lakhs/MW


Rs. 35 lakhs/MW


With assumption that 45-50 MT/mw steel is required for mounting structures.
Power Conditioning Unit (PCU) Rs. 30 laks/MW Rs. 35 laks/MW The increase is to factor in the cost of overhauling or replacement of inverter after 12-14 years.
Evacuation cost upto interconnection point (Cables & Transformers)


Rs. 40 lakhs/MW.


Rs. 44 lakhs/MW.


Increase is to include SCADA system cost.
Preliminary & Pre operative expenses 5.5% of total capital cost, or Rs. 26.13 lakhs/MW


5.5% of total capital cost, or Rs. 26.13 lakhs/MW


The benchmark cost seems to be in line with the various biddings where Companies quoted less then Rs. 5.00 per/kwh for supply of Solar power.


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