The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) team broke down all the costs that go into building solar projects of various sizes. Surprisingly, soft costs were the largest part of the costs for smaller like residential and commercial-scale projects, and the biggest reason these smaller systems cost so much more than utility-scale projects.

The cost of solar projects including residential commercial and utility-scale are all declining quickly from 2010 to 2020


The next graph shows the same results broken into more detailed segments. Note that panels (modules) are very similar between local energy and larger utility projects. The biggest difference, by far, is the soft costs.

Breakdown of solar project costs inverters panels labor soft costs

In this graph, the balance of system (BOS) includes racking and wiring. Soft costs include permitting, inspections, interconnection fees, transmission lines, sales tax, operations, and the profits of the installer.

To see the original source links and calculations, click below:

What are the costs to install solar in residential, commercial and utility scale projects?


Fact Code: g113 

Leave a Reply