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The Cost of a Hybrid Solar System in 2023: What to Expect?

A hybrid solar system is one that is connected to the grid. But to make sure you never run out of power, even during a blackout or extreme weather conditions, it also lets you pair your system with a battery bank. Exciting, isn’t it? We know it is!

But what is the cost of a hybrid solar system? How much to expect?

Stay with us for not more than five minutes, and you will get a better idea of the costs you may expect for installing a hybrid solar system.

Before we get into the details, note that the costs mentioned below are only tentative. We take the EIA-listed average consumption of an American home as the standard and suggest the estimated price of hybrid systems for such households. That should give you an idea about the cost of your system.   

How much does a hybrid solar system cost?

Like other types of solar systems, hybrid systems also come in varying shapes and sizes, resulting in a range of costs.

On average, a 6 kW hybrid solar system costs between $20,000 to $40,000. You can expect to pay around $30,000 for a fully-installed 6 kW system with monocrystalline solar panels and one rightly-sized lithium-ion battery.

If you want to install the same system on a low budget, pair your polycrystalline solar panel system with lead-acid batteries, and you will pay around $20,000. This system would also work perfectly; however, the lifespan of lead-acid batteries is not as long as lithium-ion. They also require frequent maintenance.

This was a general overview of the cost of hybrid solar systems across the United States. But how much could it cost you roughly?

How to estimate the costs of your own hybrid solar system?

Solar installation is a unique project. The system’s size and performance vary based on where you live and how many peak sun hours your region receives per day.

The formula for estimating the size of your solar system is: (Daily kWh ÷ average sun hours) x 1.15 efficiency factor = DC solar system size

Note that this formula works well for a grid-tied solar system, which doesn’t have batteries. We will talk about the size of the battery in the next section.

For the sake of simplicity, we’ll size a hybrid solar system for an average American household based in Florida that is planning to install 300-watt solar panels.

Here is what we can gather about such a household. On average, they consume about 10,632 kWh of electricity per year. On a monthly basis, it turns out to be 886 kWh per month; daily, they consume around 30 units. Also, since we are talking about Florida, the average number of peak sun hours is 5.67 per day.

Now, put all the data in the formula above.

[30 (Daily kWh) ÷ 5.67 (peak sun hours)] x 1.15 = 6.08 kW (DC solar system size)

So, the said household would require a 6 kW grid-tied solar system.

The average price of a 6 kW solar system without batteries is about $18,000. Deduct the Federal Income Tax Credit (30%) from this cost, and it turns out to be $12,600.

You can reckon the system size you need by following the same method. Calculate your monthly average electricity usage—you can see that on your electricity bill. You can also calculate the power of all the appliances you run at home and for how long, but that is a complex procedure. Next, get the number of peak sun hours across your region and put the data in the formula. You nearly got the system you require to power your home!

Note that the system size may not be as accurate as your actual requirement, but it is only to give you a better idea about the average size of your system and the expected costs. Now that we are done with the solar system, let’s move on to the batteries you may need.

Did you know?

Solar energy technology appeared on the scene only in 1954, when Bell Laboratories created the first commercially viable solar cell.

Since then, solar is one of the fastest growing energy sector.

The battery factor in the cost of a hybrid system

For a hybrid solar system, you will need batteries only for resilience. That is, when the grid goes down, the battery must keep the essential appliances powered. If that is the case, you would need only one lithium-ion battery or around three flooded lead-acid (FLA) batteries.

Batteries come in two primary technologies: lead-acid and lithium-ion.

FLA batteries are cheaper than lithium-ion, but they have a shorter lifespan (around 3-5 years) than lithium-ion, which can last up to 10 years.

Similarly, lithium-ion batteries are more efficient (92%) than lead-acid, with a maximum efficiency of 85%.

Lastly, the depth-of-discharge (DoD) also matters—DoD refers to the percentage of the battery that can be safely drained without damaging the battery.

Lithium-ion batteries have an 80% DoD, while the DoD for lead-acid batteries is only 50%.

Based on the above, we recommend pairing your hybrid solar system with lithium-ion batteries. But if you can take care of the maintenance required by FLA batteries, they also work well for not-too-heavy loads.

If you want to install lithium-ion batteries, expect to pay between $10,000 to $15,000 for batteries. For example, one Tesla Powerwall costs roughly $11,500. If you want to go for lead-acid batteries, the cost could range from $4,000 to $8,000, depending upon the amount of energy you want to offset.

This makes the cost of a 6 kW hybrid solar system between $23,000 and $30,000 before the Federal Income Tax Credit (ITC). After the ITC, the cost becomes $16,000 to $21,000.

What factors affect the cost of your hybrid system

When estimating the cost of your hybrid solar system, you will have to keep a few factors in your mind. We discussed the impact of peak sun hours above—the sunlight your region receives determines the number of solar panels you would need.

Similarly, the structure of your roof also affects the cost of your hybrid solar system. The racking and mounting will cost less if the roof is already at a good angle (between 30 to 45). But if it is a flat roof, the costs climb due to the additional equipment and labor required.

The size, brand, and type of solar panels also influence the cost of hybrid systems.

If you are going with monocrystalline solar panels, each 300-watt, expect to pay more than installing polycrystalline solar panels, each 260-watt.

Consider the labor costs, permitting, and interconnection fees as well.

In some states, the permit cannot cost more than $500 due to the cap placed on them. But in other states, the permitting fees could go higher.

Lastly, the local solar incentives. Some states and utilities offer additional incentives, which you can claim in combination with the Federal Income Tax Credit or separately.

Solar energy renewable credits, performance-based incentives, upfront rebates, and state solar tax credits are some incentives offered by different states. For example, New Mexico offers a solar tax credit equal to 10% of the eligible costs. Likewise, New Jersey offers an extra $650 for the first year of your system’s installation.

Go through the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency to see the incentives available in your state.

This was all about the cost of a hybrid solar system. If you liked reading this, you may also consider reading about how much an off-grid system costs.

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