10kW solar systems are a popular alternative energy solution for large residential homes and small offices. The installation cost of a 10kW solar system is now often under $30,000 and after the 30% tax credit can fall to $21,000. Depending on the location where they are installed most 10kW solar systems have an average payback period of 5-6 years which can equate to a very impressive 15-20% per annum investment return. However a $21,000 price tag is still a significant investment for a homeowner, so let’s look at why 10kW solar systems are so popular.
10,000 watt (10kW) solar systems explained
A 10kW solar system has between 31 and 40 solar panels. The system needs a lot of space to hold the panels – usually a large roof. When setup correctly with top-quality equipment, a 10kW solar system will generate 35-45kW a day depending on the time year, the tilt angle of the panels, and your geographical location. That’s a lot of energy – plenty for most large homes and many small businesses.
How much does an average 10kW solar system cost?
In the US, an average 10kW solar system costs between $2.90 and $3.30 per watt. That comes out to an initial price tag of $29-33 k before the 30 percent solar tax credit. In some areas, additional state or utility based rebates and credits may reduce the price even more.
If you pay cash up front, you will save the most, but many zero down financing options are available. Some from private banks and some from multiple state and federal programs, solar installation vendors, or you can use a home equity line of credit (HELOC) loan. Use the Solar-Estimate Calculator to get a ballpark figure of your home's system size needs, total system cost, and payback benefits.
Does the cost for a 10kW solar system vary by state?
The total cost of installing a 10kW solar system can vary from 10%-15% by state based on the market dynamics of the solar industry in each state. We have a helpful table where we’ve broken down the solar panels costs in each state before and after the solar tax credit. You can also compare the current average cost of residential solar systems sized from 3kW to 10kW.
How much energy is produced by a 10kW solar system?
The amount of electricity produced by a 10kW solar system in America can vary from 11,000 kWh’s per year to 15,000 kWh’s per year depending on where it is installed. To see how much 10kW of solar panels will produce on your home, given its location and the characteristics of your roof you can visit our how much electricity do solar panels produce in each city. You can also use the solar kWh production estimator for more information.
How many solar panels are needed to make up a 10kW system?
For most residential and small commercial solar installations in 2018, installers are using solar panels with wattages in the range of 275 watt (60 cells) solar panels and 350 watt (72 solar cells) solar panels. With a standard 60 cell 275 watt panel a 10kW solar system would have 36 solar panels (actually this system would be 9.9kW or 9900 watts). With a 72 cell 350 watt monocrystalline solar panel a system around 10kW would be 27 or 28 panels depending on whether the system was slightly bigger or slightly smaller than 10kW.
How much roof space do I need for a 10kW system?
As a rule of thumb, you need 66 square feet to generate 1kW of solar energy. By multiplication, you will need about 660 square feet of flat roof space for a 10kW system. If your roof is too small or doesn’t have enough sun exposure, you may want to consider a solar carport. These structures protect your car and provide plenty of surface space for solar panels. Plus, a solar carport can charge electric cars, golf carts, and lawn equipment.
How much energy does my home need?
The easiest way to find out how much energy your home needs is to look at your old utility bills. Most utility companies report energy usage as "kilowatt hours used" or "kWh hours used" per month. Some will break the number down further to give you a daily and hourly usage. If yours doesn’t give you the calculation, simply divide your monthly average by 30 to get your daily energy requirement. Then divide again by 24 to find out how much power your home uses in an hour. As an alternative to all this calculator work, you can use our solar estimating tool.
What are the benefits of a 10kW solar system?
A 10kW solar system increases your property value. The US Department of Energy commissioned a research team of scientists, universities, and appraisers to see how the installation of solar panels impacted home values. After crunching the numbers on 22,000 sales found that homes with solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems sold for an average of $15,000 more than a similar home without a solar system. This would mean that even if you chose to move house only 2 years after installing a solar power system you would still break even.
Can I save money on a 10kW solar system?
In California, you can anticipate an average savings of $300 a month on your utility bill, but this savings figure for a 10kW system changes for different states. Our solar savings calculator for each state calculates your monthly solar savings in 2018. A 10kW solar system has a relatively short payback period of 5-6 years. After this time passes, you will have saved more than you invested. If you are installing a 10kW solar system for your US residential home, then you may qualify for the solar tax credit.
How do I find a good installer for a 10kW solar system?
When choosing a solar system installer, start with local solar companies who are licensed contractors in your area. A local installer will be more focused on building a good reputation than their national competition. A recent study by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) found that the cost of solar from local installation contractors averaged 10 percent less than the cost from companies trying to gain statewide or national exposure.