West Virginia Goes Solar with SunPower®
Clean energy is a favorable option in the Mountain State
The state of solar in West Virginia
Did you know that West Virginia experiences about 164 sun-filled days each year?* Each day with sunshine can contribute to a significant amount of solar energy if you install solar panels on your home or business.
Surveys have found that a remarkable 82% of buildings in the Mountain State are prime candidates for solar energy. If all property owners of these solar-viable buildings used them for that purpose, they could produce about 3.3 million MWh of solar electricity per year.*
The state could produce enough solar energy using rooftop panels to account for over 23% of its total electricity needs. However, West Virginia has been on the slow side when it comes to “going solar.”*
- *. BestPlaces.com "Climate in West Virginia" (accessed 7/21/2021) https://www.bestplaces.net/climate/state/west_virginia
- *. Google, Project Sunroof data explorer (November 2018) https://sunroof.withgoogle.com/data-explorer/place/ChIJRQnL1KVUSogRQzrN3...
- *. Wikipedia, "Solar power in West Virginia" (published 4/16/2021) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_West_Virginia
How much solar energy does West Virginia produce?
As of the first quarter of 2021, West Virginia generates 12.5 MW of solar power, accounting for 0.03% of the state’s electricity.* However, the Public Service Commission of West Virginia recently approved a 90-megawatt solar farm worth $90 million in Raleigh County, along with other solar projects, so the state’s solar future looks promising.*
- *. SEIA.org "West Virginia Solar" (accessed 7/21/2021) https://www.seia.org/state-solar-policy/west-virginia
- *. Bowles Rice, "Utility-Scale Solar Projects Accelerating Rapidly in West Virginia" (published 11/17/2020) https://www.bowlesrice.com/in-focus-blog/utility-scale-solar-projects-in...
What are the advantages of going solar in West Virginia?
The coal industry has long dominated West Virginia, but many state officials and residents are pushing for clean energy, including solar power. Unlike coal, oil, and natural gas, solar energy is virtually pollution-free. With solar power, the state could generate enough electricity to power thousands of homes and businesses, reducing West Virginia’s dependency on coal and other extracted fuels.
Solar systems are much more affordable now than they were even a few years ago, making solar energy that much more accessible to the ordinary West Virginian. Today, a commercial solar system in West Virginia could pay for itself in six years, and a residential system could pay for itself in nine years.*
- *. Forbes.com, "The Dam Has Broken And West Virginia Has Awoken To Solar Power" (published 5/16/2021) https://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2021/05/16/the-dam-has-broke...
How much does solar cost in West Virginia?
The cost of a home solar system can vary, even in the same state, due to a range of factors. These include the:
Angle of the roof
Quality of the solar panels
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 West Virginia, we found that the average investment to own a 5 kW solar system ranges from $13,850 to $14,550, or in other words, from $2.77 to $2.91 per watt. And that’s before considering the benefits of any tax credits or incentives.
The cost of solar panels and other equipment has dropped 43% over the last five years, so now is an excellent time to go solar.* West Virginians can participate in several state and federal incentives and rebates to drop solar system costs further, such as the 30% West Virginia state residential tax credit.*
Net metering is another way West Virginians can save money when they embrace clean energy. The state requires all utility companies to offer net metering to its customers who produce a surplus of electricity. This means that when solar system owners produce more solar energy than they need, they can actually profit from it by selling their excess power to the utility company. In return, customers will earn credits on utility bills that roll over each month.*
When filing federal income taxes, new solar system owners can claim the 26% Federal Investment Tax Credit.*The tax credit covers a percentage of a solar system as long as it is new or used for the first time during the tax year its owner claims the credit.
- *. SEIA.org, "West Virginia Solar" (accessed 7/21/2021) https://www.seia.org/state-solar-policy/west-virginia
- *. SolarInsure.com, "West Virginia Solar Incentive Programs" (accessed 7/21/2021) https://www.solarinsure.com/west-virginia-solar-incentive-programs
- *. The availability of net metering varies by location and is subject to change. Visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
- *. Tax credits and incentives are subject to change. Visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
What’s the best way to go solar in West Virginia?
The first step of going solar in West Virginia is hiring a knowledgeable solar provider to assist you on your clean energy journey. Investing in solar energy requires a lot of research to determine which solar panels are best suited for your property and energy needs. Having a reputable, experienced solar contractor by your side will prove invaluable.
Consulting with a skilled solar contractor is necessary for ensuring that the solar solutions you select will fit your budget, your property’s aesthetic style, and the size of your roof. A worthwhile solar provider should also have access to high-efficiency solar panels and storage options, as well as relevant information about rebates and incentives for additional savings.
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