Average solar prices in New York State fall to $1.97 per watt after incentives

There are few places where it is a better deal to install solar PV than New York State. With a high retail electricity prices, a strong commitment to net metering and generous incentives to through the NY-SUN program, the economics of solar in the state are excellent.

Earlier this week Solar to the People released a study which looks at installed PV system costs across New York state, which finds that the combination of federal and state incentives typically covers more than half the cost of an installed PV system.

Solar to the people estimates that the average cost of a PV system in New York before incentives is around $4.50 per watt in 2016, which is higher than the national average of $4.00 per watt reported by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab for systems installed in 2015, as the most recent national data available.

However, after all incentives are accounted for, the average cost is only $1.97 per watt – roughly the average price of utility-scale solar in the United States. The report also finds that the average system size is 8.3 kW, giving an average system cost of $16,426.

Similar to Solar to the People’s study of California, there are significant differences in costs depending on location. The average PV system on Long Island cost over $21,000 after incentives, whereas the average system in and around the city of Watertown in upstate New York was almost half of that at $11,700.

Watertown also paid the lowest amount on a per-watt basis at only $1.41 per watt, compared to New York City, which had the highest costs at $2.46 per watt.