As of 2017, in most parts of India, solar power generation costs are lower than rates paid by commercial and industrial units to the grid. This is an important driver for businesses opting for rooftop solar power plants.
Before looking at the costs for the various components, here’s the list of components of a rooftop plant:
- Solar Panels: These convert sunshine to DC (direct current) power
- Inverters: Inverters convert DC power to AC power and also control the overall power system. Inverters can be considered the brains of the solar power system.
- Cable: DC cables transport power from panels to inverters; AC cables carry power from inverters to loads
- Mounting Structures: Module Mounting Structures (MMS) support the panels on the rooftops
- Electrical Peripherals: These include Junction Boxes, Earthing, Lightning Arrestors, Cable Conduits, etc.
- Project Design and Implementation Services: The actual design and installation for the power plant.
With technological advancement, year on year, solar industry is experiencing significant cost reductions.
As of Mar 2017, Solar Mango estimates that a rooftop solar power plant to cost between Rs 50-60 per Watt, for a power plant with good quality components. The range is owing to different requirements for mounting structures which depends on the type of roof, and also based on specific brands selected.
The cost for ground-mounted projects are usually lower than rooftop solar due to economies of scale as well as the difference in mounting structure costs.
We have given ballpark numbers for the costs of components (as of early 2017) of a grid connected rooftop solar plant below: