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U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System Cost Benchmark: Q1 2017

U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System Cost Benchmark: Q1 2017

Full Title: U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System Cost Benchmark: Q1 2017
Author(s): Ran Fu, David Feldman, Robert Margolis, Mike Woodhouse, and Kristen Ardani
Publisher(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: September 1, 2017
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

This report benchmarks U.S. solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed costs as of the first quarter of 2017 (Q1 2017). We use a bottom-up methodology, accounting for all system and project development costs incurred during the installation to model the costs for residential, commercial, and utility-scale systems. In general, we attempt to model the typical installation techniques and business operations from an installed-cost perspective. Costs are represented from the perspective of the developer/installer; thus, all hardware costs represent the price at which components are purchased by the developer/installer, not accounting for preexisting supply agreements or other contracts. Importantly, the benchmark also represents the sales price paid to the installer; therefore, it includes profit in the cost of the hardware, 1 along with the profit the installer/developer receives, as a separate cost category. However, it does not include any additional net profit, such as a developer fee or price gross-up, which is common in the marketplace. We adopt this approach owing to the wide variation in developer profits in all three sectors, where project pricing is highly dependent on region and project specifics such as local retail electricity rate structures, local rebate and incentive structures, competitive environment, and overall project or deal structures. Finally, our benchmarks are national averages weighted by state installed capacities

All statements and/or propositions in discussion prompts are meant exclusively to stimulate discussion and do not represent the views of, its Partners, Topic Directors or Experts, nor of any individual or organization. Comments by and opinions of Expert participants are their own.

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