Solar cells

What is the average installation cost of a solar panel?

As with many of life’s big questions, there’s a short and a long answer as to what the average cost of solar is.

Short answer:

  • Residential solar system: $1,000 per solar panel
  • Commercial solar system: more factors enter into the price, contact us for your specific situation

Long Answer:

The price of a solar system depends on many variables. Here are a few of the parameters that affect the price of a solar system:

  • System size (do we install 10 solar panels, 25 or 50 on a residential home. The fixed costs like engineering and permitting will get smaller compared to the full project size and thus economies of scale are at play.
  • Height of the building
  • Angle of the roof (flat, 10 degrees,
  • Roof material type (asphalt shingles, wood shakes, slate, membrane)
  • Type of attachment (flush mount, ballasted, ground mount,…)
  • Location (in the city, close or far away from our service area)
  • The electrical situation of the building. Does it need a service panel upgrade?
  • Solar panel type (Mono, poly, thin film
  • Solar panel Wattage (older panels are usually around 250 to 270W these days and the most common are around 295W or 300W with 72 cell panels going up to 345W or 350W and high-efficiency solar panels with 60 cells being around 350W to 360W)
  • Tariff (as I am writing this age, we still don’t know what the White House will decide on the Trade case to impose a tariff on solar panels. This could drastically affect the price of solar panels.

Rules of Thumb

This is just to name a few of the variables that affect the price.

A good metric to estimate quickly how much a solar system cost as a  turn-key solution, which includes the custom design, permitting, structural evaluation, and the installation of the solar panels, is to multiply the number of solar panels by $1,000/panel.

The size of a solar panel is roughly 5.5ft by 3.5ft or roughly 20sqft per panel. The numbers are not accurate, but make it easy to calculate.

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