U.S. PV System Pricing H2 2016: System Pricing, Breakdowns and Forecasts

by Ben Gallagher

Rapid module price declines have drastically lowered systems prices in the second half on 2016. Due to a global supply and demand imbalance, module pricing has fallen by 33.8% since the first half of 2016, pushing down systems pricing for all market segments. As modules make up a greater portion of utility system price than residential or commercial, changes in the module market disproportionally impact overall utility systems pricing. As such, the price drops in the utility market are the greatest - 17.4% for fixed-tilt and 14.9% for single-axis tracking. Aggressive market entrants in the inverter and racking markets are also contributing to the price decreases.

H1 & H2 2016 EPC/Installer System Pricing by Market Segment ($/Wdc)

Solar PV System Pricing by Segment, 2016

This report utilizes a bottom-up modeling methodology to capture, track and report national average PV system pricing for the major market segments, based on tracked wholesale pricing of major solar components and data collected from interviews with industry stakeholders. Stakeholders interviewed include national, regional and local residential installers, commercial EPCs, commercial developers, utility PV EPCs, utility PV developers, electrical contractors, The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and hardware manufacturers throughout the solar value chain.

The full report breaks PV prices down into 11 distinct categories:

  • Module
  • EBOS
  • Labor
  • Permitting & Interconnection
  • Taxes
  • Overhead & Margin
  • Inverter
  • SBOS
  • Design & Engineering
  • Supply Chain, Logistics & Misc.
  • Origination


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Download a free executive summary with a full table of contents as well as more in-depth information on the report's analysis.

Ben Gallagher Senior Analyst, Solar

Ben is a Senior Solar Analyst at GTM Research specializing in PV systems and balance of systems components. Before joining GTM Research, Ben worked in China and the U.S. in clean-tech manufacturing and for The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Ben holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Skidmore College and an M.A. in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

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