Commercial Solar Panel Cost Estimates

As the cost of solar panels is lowering every year, commercial solar panel systems are being valued more and more by businesses. If you are still undecided on installing a solar panel for your projects, let us assure you that it’s the best time you go solar, as it will save you thousands of dollars per month in utilities costs!

However, you need to evaluate your property’s commercial solar panel cost before anything else. The cost depends on a lot of factors, including the size and type of the solar panel system, mounting area, panel number, etc.

Here, in this article, we will discuss the costs of a commercial solar panel based on all these necessary factors so that you can estimate the overall expenses. So, let’s dive right in.

Commercial Solar Panel Average Cost

In general, a small to medium commercial building will need 10-kilowatt solar panels. The national pricing for a 10kW panel is around $27,600 to $30,000. Usually, a solar panel price is measured by the unit ‘dollars per watt’. It means the average cost of a commercial system is between 27.6 $/watt and 30.0 $/watt.

That being said, the overall price of a commercial solar panel can vary between $50,211 and $502,113 depending on the wattage of the panel, which ranges from 2kW to 50kW. You’ll be pleased to know that several tax incentives and rebates are available for commercial solar. Some of them include –

  • Federal Tax Credit
    For your renewable energy property, you can receive up to 30% of a tax credit for your installation and system costs.
  • State Tax Credit
    To offset the expenses of your solar panel system, some states, such as Arizona, provide a tax credit of 10%.
  • Accelerated Deprecation
    For your solar facility, you can deduct around 85% value of the system from your business taxes.

Cost Breakdown of a Complete Solar Panel

Now that you know all the amazing opportunities of reducing your costs let’s break down the percentages of your total expenses. Here’s the cost percentage for each section –

  • You need to spend 26% of the total cost for solar panels and their materials.
  • The installation process will take 24% of the cost, excluding the labor expenses.
  • The sales and marketing department requires 15% of the cost.
  • Installer margin will cost you around 10%.
  • Racking and balancing of the solar system take 10% as well.
  • The price of an inverter is around 10% of the total expenditure.
  • Finally, permitting and inspections take 5% of the overall cost.

Cost As Per the Number of Solar Panels

Depending on the size of the building, you’ll need 10 to 30 solar panels. The price of each panel will vary based on the panel size, type, and brand you’re buying. Here’s the average cost for the various number of panels (installed) –

  • A total of 10 solar panels will cost you approximately $2,500 to $6,000. This price doesn’t include the expenses of batteries or inverters.
  • For 12 solar panels, you need to spend $3,000 to $7,200. The price only includes the expenses of the panels and their installation fee. Usually, the cost will depend on the number of watts produced by each panel.
  • The price and installation fee of 16 Solar Panels range from $4,000 to $9,600. High-quality solar panels will be more costly, but they should generate more watts in return.
  • To install 20 solar panels, you need to spend between $5,000 and $12,000. The price doesn’t include framing material and their installation payments.
  • You need to pay $7,500 to $18,000 to install as many as 30 solar panels. If your building’s rooftop doesn’t have enough space for this many panels, you can go for premium solar panels that offer the same wattage with fewer panels.

Cost As Per the Panel Size

The size of the solar panel system is usually measured by the unit kilowatt (kW). Here is the average cost for different sizes of solar systems installed –

  • Small commercial solar panel system (10 kW) cost: $25,000 – $35,000
  • Small or medium commercial solar panel system (25kW) cost: $50,211
  • Medium commercial solar panel system (50kW) cost: $100,423
  • Medium or large commercial solar panel system (100kW) cost: $200,846
  • Large commercial solar panel system (250kW) cost: $502,113

Cost As Per the Type of Solar System

There are two main types of solar panel systems depending on how you use solar energy for powering your commercial space. Below are the two types of solar panel systems with their usage and costs –

Grid-Tied Solar Panel System

This type of solar will cost you the lowest, ranging from $15,000 to $21,000. Here, your solar system remains connected to the power grid of your local utility company. This way, you don’t have to worry about power storage for different weather conditions.
Usually, the more panels you have, the lower the electricity bills you’ll need to pay. In some states, the extra energy your solar panel system produces goes back to the grid, and you receive a credit on the grid’s electric bills. Also, you’ll need far less equipment to install this type of solar system.

Who Can Use the Grid-Tied Solar System?
It’s the most common type for most USA residents. However, it can’t fulfill the needs of large commercial buildings. The grid-tied solar panel system is mostly useful for boutique houses, one-stored buildings, and small firms.

Off-Grid Solar System

You need to spend around $30,000 to $60,000 for this efficient solar panel system. In this type, the system is completely separated from the local grid line, and it produces the necessary power for running larger spaces.

The size of the solar panel depends on the building’s length and energy needs. You have to install some extra batteries and a generator to keep the system active in case of sudden fluctuations and prolonged rainy seasons.

Who Can Use the Grid-Tied Solar System?
Usually, the system is efficient and productive enough to meet all the power requirements of large commercial buildings, including warehouses, retail stores, hotels, big farms, and even malls.

Cost As Per the Solar Cell Type

You can go for any of the three options for solar cell types: thin-film panels, monocrystalline panels, and polycrystalline panels. Below are the prices and power efficiency of each type –

  • Thin-Film Solar Panels
    This cell type is made from a wide range of materials. It also offers high aesthetics and 15 to 17% efficiency. With only $0.50 to $1 a watt, you can get these lightweight and flexible cells for your buildings.
  • Monocrystalline Solar Cells
    The most expensive cell type, monocrystalline cells, will cost you $1 to $1.50 for each watt installed.
    This cell type consists of whole silicon crystals, which makes them aesthetically pleasing and longer-lasting. You can expect 20% or more efficiency from these cells.
  • Polycrystalline Solar Panels
    Costs between $0.50 and $1 for each watt, this type of cell isn’t very good-looking as its counterparts. It delivers around 11% of power efficiency and is made from numerous pieces of silicon crystal.

Cost As per the Mounting Area

If you’re installing a solar panel only for your commercial building, you can set up the solar system in two areas, on the roof or ground.

  • Roof Mounting
    Roof panels are usually made adjustable so that you can set them at any angle. The expenditure for roof mounting varies depending on the roof material. However, the average cost ranges from $200 to $500.
  • Ground Mounting
    Also known as track mounting, you can go for this type to cover a large property. It is positioned where the sun shines bright for a large portion of the day.

Final Words

There you have the commercial solar panel cost based on various aspects. You can save up to 75% of your utility bills by installing solar panels! So, opt for the one that meets all your requirements. Remember that the costs will vary depending on your locality. Contact your local contractor for more information.

Meta Description

Are you trying to estimate a commercial solar panel cost? Our article will tell you about all the expenses you need to know for setting up a solar panel system.