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Let’s talk money! How much does solar energy cost?

Date: 2021 - 12 - 21

Author: Ecolinks

Costs for solar PV systems vary by size. Costs for a certain individual project could always be different based on the specific circumstances of that project. According to the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, larger projects tend to be cheaper on a per-unit basis, and costs for projects of all sizes have declined in recent years. Utility-scale systems (i.e. solar farms) that range from a few megawatts to a few hundred megawatts have the lowest unit costs, typically ranging from an average of $1.06 per watt of direct current to $1.13/W in 2018 depending on whether or not the project was mounted on fixed brackets or a tracking system respectively. Commercial-scale systems which range from a capacity of a few kilowatts to a few hundred kilowatts cost $1.83/W on average and residential-scale systems which have a generation capacity of a few kilowatts cost on average $2.70/W. The differences are driven primarily by “soft costs” such as costs associated with interconnecting with the grid, permitting, and installer overheadcosts and are much higher for smaller-scale systems compared with utility-scale systems.