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US Residential and Commercial Installed Solar PV Prices Still Dropping

Sep 19, 2018, by Jennifer Runyon

(Renewable Energy World)

According to the latest edition of Lawrence Berkley National Lab’s (LBNL’s) “Tracking the Sun” report, the median installed price for a solar PV system in the first part of 2018 was $2.2/W for a large non-residential system (up to 5 MW in capacity), representing a 5 percent decline over the previous period.

The report reveals installed prices and other trends among distributed photovoltaic (PV) systems in the U.S., based on an underlying dataset of more than 1.3 million PV systems (with transaction prices for 770,000 systems). This latest edition focuses primarily on trends through year-end 2017, with preliminary data for the first half of 2018.

Residential prices declined 6 percent with a median price for an installed system of $3.7/W. Small non-residential systems declined 11 percent to $3.1/W. Data for the first half of 2018 show an additional drop of $0.1/W for residential and small non-residential systems, and no change for large non-residential systems.

These trends are consistent with the pace of price declines since 2014, said LBNL, and mark a slowing from the years immediately preceding (2009-2013) when prices fell by roughly $1/W per year.

The report also found that installed prices vary widely across individual projects and across states. The lowest price for an installed PV system is in Nevada with a median price of $2.6/W and the highest price was in Rhode Island at $4.5/W.

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