Solar installed costs

Solar installed costs

December 01, 2017 | By Keith Martin in Washington, DC

Solar projects were being built at an average cost in the United States of $1.03 a watt in the first half of 2017, according to GTM Research.

The cost had dipped to 98¢ a watt early in the year before being driven back up after Suniva petitioned the US government to impose tariffs on imported solar cells and modules. The average price for the entire first half of the year was below $1 in only six western states, compared EPC pricing below $1 in 26 US states before the tariff petition.

GTM reports that the primary panel suppliers to the US market today are in Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand. China and Taiwan are less attractive because of countervailing and anti-dumping duties directed at them.

Module prices moved from 33¢ a watt in the first quarter of 2017 to 44¢ a watt in the fourth quarter, driven by demand for solar panels that can get past US Customs before any duties are imposed by the US government. However, GTM said installed system costs increased by only 5¢ a watt during the same period as vendors of other parts of the systems found ways to cut costs.