Solar FAQ's (Part 1)

solar-faq-1-headerWhat solar system size works for my business or home?

The system cost of solar PV can vary by energy profile and budget. Hard costs like material and labor are typically assessed in cost per rated watt. Solar modules and inverters are also rated and priced by wattage. For consistency, solar is sized by the DC rated capacity of the array. Local net metering interconnection standards will often set a maximum system size by utility customer class, i.e. 15kW residential, 100kW commercial for Kansas Investor Owned Utilities, 200kW commercial and 25kW residential for some municipal utilities and cooperatives.

To properly size a grid tied system, your installer or supplier should evaluate the energy profile of the building to maximize energy offset while limiting excess monthly and annual excess generation. Excess generation in a month can negatively impact the financial benefits of the system depending upon how the excess power sent to the grid is credited or valued. When avoiding excess generation PV typically offsets 75% of a system. Applications using storages devices like a battery can better manage excess generation for use in the evening or when power is most expensive. Many homeowners are installing battery-ready systems in preparation of future investment.

How much does solar cost?

The average price in Kansas is typically lower than the national average. According to consumer reporting, the 2020 U.S. average residential solar array size is 6kW and the average total installed price is $2.69/watt resulting in an average residential project cost of $16,140 before incentives. The Federal Investment Tax Credit is currently 26% of the total project cost resulting in a net cost of $11,943.60. On average, commercial solar installations cost about $251,162with average prices ranging from $50,211 to $502,113in the US for 2021. The cost of solar has continued to decline year over year.

solar-faq-1-body-1Financial Incentives

Incentives beyond the clean source and low cost of energy are financial policies to help solar become more affordable.

* Property Tax Exempt – first 10 year of the system

* Investment Tax Credit/ Business Tax Credit – 26% with planned phase out but historically it was extended three times since 2006, most recently in 2020 due to impacts of the novel virus pandemic

* 100% bonus depreciation for commercial solar was granted in the 2017 Jobs and Tax Act. 100% of the material value can be depreciated in the first year

* Some states offer PACE financing for the installation of solar and other energy projects



Solar systems generally do not need much (if any) maintenance over their lifetime. Solar panels are made of tempered glass, so they’re built to withstand hail and other rough weather. Often the pitch of the array allows them to rinse soil away with average rainfall. With the exception of tracking mounts, PV solar systems are not mechanical, which cuts down on the possibility of any problems. Keeping the array clear of debris is the most important aspect of maintenance. Any issues with solar panel performance are typically related to power production, which is why most installers utilize monitoring notifications of systems in their fleet to be proactive in identifying customer issues with performance.


Module warranty standards for solar modules are excellent, 10-year mfg warranty and 25-year module performance, details of tiered and linear a performance warranty can vary by brand and model.



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