Cost of Solar Installation

JustinAdams Registered Users Posts: 5
Hello everyone, I've been lurking this forum for a while trying to learn as much as possible about getting solar panels.

My question to you is how much is the average cost of the actual installation part of the solar panels from companies? Do they typically charge a percentage of the total cost of panels? How does that work?




  • arkieoscar
    arkieoscar Solar Expert Posts: 101 ✭✭
    Re: Cost of Solar Installation

    I have always had to look at the job to determine what I will charge for installation. There are so many variables that you can't have a "rule of thumb" for installing panels or systems.
  • JustinAdams
    JustinAdams Registered Users Posts: 5
    Re: Cost of Solar Installation

    Thanks for the reply. When you say "variables" what do you mean? I understand it depends on the size of a job, but regardless, your doing the same work right? I mean your putting up the solar panels, doing the wiring, rebates etc. So when it comes down to figuring out the installation costs wouldn't it mainly depend on how many solar panels are being put up?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I just want to know my stuff before I start talking with these companies and getting bids. Thanks.
  • Brock
    Brock Solar Expert Posts: 639 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Cost of Solar Installation

    It does vary a lot. Depending on how the panels are mounted, to the roof, on a pole, tracking. The distance to the charge controller or inverter in a grid tie, lots of variables. As a rough ballpark it can fall between $3 a watt and $5 a watt installed (not including the panels themselves).
    3kw solar PV, 4 LiFePO4 100a, xw 6048, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Tesla 3, Leaf, Volt, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,474 admin
    Re: Cost of Solar Installation

    Very Roughly (hey--it is an "average" guess):

    $3-$5 per watt (solar panels)
    $1 per watt (GT Inverter)
    $1 per watt (Racking)
    $2 per watt (Installation, permits, and profit)
    ~$8.00 per watt (has been relatively steady over the last few years)

    Really, the bigger questions are:

    1. Have you worked at conservation (almost always cheaper than $olar PV)?
    2. Do you know how much electricity you will need (monthly, seasonally)?
    3. Does you site/location support full from at least ~9am-3pm?
    4. Will the sun be available for 25+ years (buildings, trees, etc.)?
    5. Does your utility support Grid Tied Solar PV and what kind of billing will your power company support (net metering--1 year or 1 month, wholesale cost)?
    6. What kind of rebates/tax credits will you get?
    7. Does your location charge property tax on the solar pV installation?
    8. Get an equipment list (brand and model numbers of solar panels and GT Inverter)?
    9. Do you have other needs (such as emergency battery backup power--will cost more)?

    This site has most of the tax credit and rebate information. Also lists many of the local laws that support Solar PV Grid Tie systems.

    And this site is useful for predicting how much solar power your array could produce.

    An average solar PV GT system may run from 2kW to 10kW (for small homes with low power usage to larger homes with A/C).

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset