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how much does a solar photovoltaic system cost

According to the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, the average cost of a solar photovoltaic system in 2021 is between $15,000 and $25,000 for a 6kW system after the federal tax credit. However, the cost of a solar photovoltaic system can vary based on several factors, including the size of the system, the type of panels, and the installation complexity.

Factors that Affect the Cost of a Solar Photovoltaic System

When determining the cost of a solar photovoltaic system, several factors come into play. These include the size of the system, the type of panels, the quality of the components, and the complexity of the installation. Additionally, the location of the installation and local labor costs can also impact the overall cost.

System Size

The size of the solar photovoltaic system is one of the primary factors that determine its cost. The larger the system, the more expensive it will be. Most residential solar systems range from 3kW to 10kW, with the average system size being around 6kW. Larger systems are typically more expensive due to the additional panels and components required.

Panel Type and Quality

There are several types of solar panels available on the market, ranging from monocrystalline to polycrystalline and thin-film panels. The type and quality of panels chosen can affect the cost of the system. Generally, higher efficiency and more durable panels will come at a higher cost upfront but may provide better long-term performance and savings.

Installation Complexity

The complexity of the installation can also impact the cost of a solar photovoltaic system. Factors such as the roof type, shading, and the need for additional equipment like a solar battery or a solar tracker can increase the overall cost of the system. Additionally, ground-mounted systems may also require additional site preparation, impacting the installation cost.

Additional Costs and Incentives

In addition to the upfront cost of the solar photovoltaic system, there may be additional costs such as permits, interconnection fees, and potential upgrades to the electrical panel. However, it’s important to note that there are various incentives and rebates available that can help offset the cost of installing a solar photovoltaic system. These may include the federal investment tax credit, state and local incentives, and solar renewable energy credits.


Overall, the cost of a solar photovoltaic system can vary based on several factors. It’s important to consider the size of the system, panel type and quality, installation complexity, and potential additional costs and incentives when determining the overall cost. However, with the declining cost of solar panels and the availability of various incentives, solar energy has become more accessible and affordable for many homeowners. Investing in a solar photovoltaic system not only reduces electricity bills but also contributes to a greener and more sustainable future.

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