River City lights up with clean energy

The state of solar in Grand Rapids

The City of Grand Rapids was among the first municipalities in the nation to adopt clean energy initiatives back in 2005. Since then, the city has increased its renewable energy usage to 34%, with a goal of reaching 100% by 2025. The city’s electricity utility provider, Consumers Energy, has also set a lofty goal, hoping to source 90% of its energy from clean sources by 2040. With such efforts aimed at renewable energy adoption and roughly 71% of the rooftops in Grand Rapids being solar viable,* the industry has seen significant growth in the area.

How much solar energy does Grand Rapids produce?

Kent County has a total clean energy generation capacity of 18.7 MW, and while no specific statistics are available, Grand Rapids likely makes up a fair chunk of that total. The Circuit West solar array owned by Consumers Energy itself has a 500kW capacity.* The City of Grand Rapids also runs the 122.27 kW Oak Industrial Solar Array, and Kent ISD has a 9.72 kW system.

In March of 2021, Grand Rapids received approval to build a 1MW solar array at the Lake Michigan Filtration Plant (LMFP), which provides water to over 300,000 residents. The city estimates when the project comes online, it will save taxpayers $1.2 million over 24 years and offset carbon emissions equivalent to 150 to 200 cars per year.

What are the advantages of going solar in Grand Rapids?

The planned array at LMFP is a good example of the potential benefits of going solar—electricity cost savings and environmental benefits.

Electricity rates in Grand Rapids are 15.4% higher than the national average.* With a 5 kW solar system, you could see savings as high as $20,000 over 20 years of use and break even on your system in as little as 10 to 11 years.* On top of that, installing a solar system may increase the value of your home by as much as 4% without increasing your property taxes.*

Environmentally, as solar power is carbon-neutral, you can also do your part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change. Google's Project Sunroof estimates that if we utilized every solar-viable rooftop in Grand Rapids, it would offset 818,000 cubic tons of carbon dioxide. That's roughly as much as 173,000 cars produce over a year!*

How much does solar cost in Grand Rapids?

Grand Rapids solar

The cost of a home solar system can vary, even in the same city, due to a range of factors, such as:

  • Household energy needs

  • Quality of the solar system's panels and parts

  • Roof space

  • Angle of the roof

  • Weather

To help you understand the price of going solar in your area, we've analyzed SunPower price quotes, as well as quotes gathered by third-party sources for thousands of homeowners across the country.*

In Grand Rapids, we found that the average cost of owning a 5 kW solar system ranges from $13,300 to $16,450, or in other words, from $2.66 to $3.29 per watt. And that's before considering the benefits of any available tax credits or incentives.

If you purchase your solar system rather than opting for a lease, you may qualify for the 26% federal tax credit. With a grid-tied system, you can also sign-up for a net metering program. Net metering allows you to earn a credit on your electricity bill for any excess energy your solar system produces. This credit can be user to cover electricity use from the grid during times of low production, such as at night.*

What’s the best way to go solar in Grand Rapids?

Your household's energy needs are unique—and your solar system should be, too. To design the right system for your home, you'll need to consider your roof type, energy usage, budget, and much more. A reputable solar provider is the best resource to assess those variables and maximize your return on investment.

You'll also need to decide if you want solar only or a solar + battery storage system for additional peace of mind. To do so, you should also determine if solar can cover your electricity usage entirely and how much it will reduce your utility bill.

No matter what type of solar system you’re interested in, our experts can help. If you’re ready to take the first step in going solar, request a consultation to get started. We'll contact you to schedule a time, or you can call us at (800) 786-7693.

Looking for commercial solar in Grand Rapids?

SunPower is the top commercial solar provider in the U.S.* Schedule a commercial solar consultation today.

  • *. Project Sunroof data explorer (November 2018).
  • *. Consumers Energy. Circuit West Solar Generation. May 2021.
  • *. Electricity Local. Grand Rapids Electricity Rates. May 2021.
  • *. Energy Sage. Solar Panels in Grand Rapids, MI. May 2021
  • *. Zillow. Homes With Solar Panels Sell for 4.1% More. April 2019.
  • *. Project Sunroof data explorer (November 2018).
  • *. Local Solar Installers 2020/2021, Solar Reviews 2021, Energy Sage 2021, Wood Mackenzie 2020, National Renewable Energy Laboratory 2020
  • *. Tax credits are subject to change and the availability of net metering varies by location. Please visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information.
  • *. Wood Mackenzie, US PV Leaderboard (March 2021). SunPower ranked #1 in cumulative commercial volume 2017-2020
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