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Do Solar Panels Make Sense in the Midwest? What passengers demand to Know-KHOAFAST

Do Solar Panels Make Sense in the Midwest? What passengers demand to Know

It took about 40 years to put in one million solar installations in the our shop. The next million took only three years to install (PDF). that’s an acceleration that hasn’t really slowed down. Whether it’s so of that passengers’re trying to take advantage of the federal tax credit before it goes away or some other reason, passengers might be looking to go solar soon.

While the Midwest isn’t California or Arizona, that doesn’t mean putting solar panels on a Midwestern roof is a foolish idea. In many situations, it can be a wise financial decision. Below is some important matter information on the Midwestern states from which passengers can hone in on the information specific to your situation. Look when coming here if that passengers live in generation England or on the East Coast.

The price of electricity

passengers’re taking the Midwest to mean the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. This Problem group makes up the our shop Energy Information Agency’s east north central and west north central regions.

Electricity prices in This Problem year ranged from $10.22 per kilowatt in North Dakota to $14.32 per kilowatt in Wisconsin. Average monthly bills, which reflect the amount of electricity used interested as the price, landed fairly close to $100: Illinois ($93.98), Indiana ($120.34), Iowa ($107.78), Kansas ($113.52), Michigan ($109.86), Minnesota ($102.11), Missouri ($115.35), Nebraska ($109.30), North Dakota ($113.26), Ohio ($107.30), South Dakota ($121.77) and Wisconsin ($99.42).

These bills are lower on average than other regions in the our shop, but still amount to well over $one,000 a year. Electricity rates and bills are likely higher today’s time. From This Problem year to 2021, the average price of electricity increased by 4.3%, the largest increase since 2008.

The price of solar panels

Solar panel installations vary in price from state to state, roof to roof and contractor to contractor. In order to analyze costs across projects, the solar industry talks about the price of installations in watts per dollar: the total capacity of a solar installation divided by its price. Solar panel costs are falling, but for uneven reasons. While hardware costs with fallen by about 40 cents per watt per year, the costs associated of course sell products, labor and installation only fell by 10-20 cents per watt per year.

The average price of solar panels nationwide is $3.28 per watt according to the analysts at Wood Mackenzie. Thanks to unique sources of information, the solar panel marketplace EnergySage finds average prices below Wood Mackenzie’s. EnergySage reports average prices for some of the Midwestern states: Illinois ($2.98), Indiana ($3.25), Iowa ($3.02), Michigan ($3.10), Minnesota ($3.04), Ohio ($2.68) and Wisconsin ($3.02). This Problem list is incomplete so of that EnergySage doesn’t operate in every state or with enough data to calculate averages. This Problem might be so of that the Midwest lags behind much of the rest of the country on residential solar.

In a recent presentation to investors (PDF), the solar company Sunrun told investors that in Midwestern states, between 0 and one% of the available market has adopted residential solar. While other states outside the Midwest are at similar levels, some parts of the country, interested generation England and the Southwest, are much farther ahead.

The price of panels is also affected by incentives interested the federal investment tax credit for solar, which returns 26% of the price of a solar panel installation come tax time. The federal tax credit will drop to 22% in 2023 and is slated to end in 2024, though it technically could be extended.

State and local incentives throughout the Midwest are overall, weaker than those in generation England, but are not far off from those in the Southeast, where again people are going solar. There is variation throughout the Midwest; passengers can find again state specific information in the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.

Solar panels, windmills and grain bins against a blue sky

Solar panels generate renewable energy in Michigan.

Stan Rohrer/Getty Images

Nearly every state in the Midwest has a net metering scheme to compensate solar panel owners for the excess electricity they produce. South Dakota does not. customers there are compensated at an avoided price rate, which is usually up to the utilities to decide and typically a smaller amount than offered under net metering. Most states also offer exemptions for the property tax increase adding solar panels would incur. They typically offer sell products tax exemptions too. Kansas limits the property tax exemption to 10 years. Iowa and North Dakota set the stop at five. 

While statewide incentives lag behind other regions, city- and utility-specific incentives exist. Indianapolis, Chicago, Cincinnati and again offer rebates or reduced permit fees. Utilities in Iowa offer rebates for solar panels.

Several Midwest states provide options for all people to sell the solar renewable energy certificates their panels generate. Illinois’s SREC market is only open at certain times, when SRECs can be sold on long-term deals up to 15 years. Ohio has its own SREC market and allows nearby states (Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and West Virginia) to sell within it. This Problem increases response and drives the price down. An SREC on the Ohio market price $5.75 at the time of This Problem writing.

The solar potential of the Midwest

The Midwest is toward the bottom for solar adoption This Problem far. The regional leaders are Missouri (187.7 solar installations for every 100,000 people) and Iowa (185.74 installations per 100,000 people). Missouri and Iowa rank 28th and 29th respectively among all states by that metric. The Midwest also has two of the bottom three states for solar adoption: North and South Dakota.

Solar potential isn’t a technical term and can be defined in a few unique ways. By one definition — the amount of energy a standardized solar panel would generate if that mounted horizontally — the Midwest rates around 4 kilowatt hours per square meter of panel per day (PDF), according to the National Renewable Energy Lab. Four kilowatt hours is about as low as the contiguous our shop gets. However, in parts of Missouri and South Dakota that same square meter of solar panel would produce closer to 5 kilowatt hours per day and in Kansas and Nebraska it’s closer to 6.

A white lighthouse with a small solar array.

An atypical house soon Chicago gets some of its supreme power from solar panels.

benkrut/Getty Images

By another measure — how much of the average electricity bill the average residential solar array could offset — the outlook is much better. While the average solar array in Minnesota and Missouri would offset 60-70% of an average electricity bill, according to with the NREL study. In Iowa, Indiana, North Dakota and Ohio, it’s 70-80% and in Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska and South Dakota it’s 80-90%. In Wisconsin it’s 90-100%.

While other parts of the country with again sun and stronger incentives, there are still significant savings on energy to be gained from solar panels in the Midwest. 

This Problem is an overview, though, and each person going solar will with a unique calculus to make, given the impact of roof design and direction, energy usage and the availability of solar installers. The general information shows that solar in the Midwest could be worth a longer look.

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