Solar Panel Cost in Minnesota (2022 Local Savings Guide)
Here’s a quick look at the estimated cost of solar in Minnesota:
- Average Cost Per Watt: $2.84
- Cost of Average System: $16,813*
- Cost of Energy Without Solar: $40,266
- Payback Period: 13 Years**
- Lifetime Savings of Going Solar: $17,546
*Average system size is calculated using data from the Energy Information Administration. This price is after tax credit.
**Payback period is calculated assuming the system is purchased in cash.
Why You Can Trust EcoWatch
Our content is created and advised by solar industry experts, giving you the information you need to make smart decisions about solar for your home. No other site has access to the same data and insider information as EcoWatch, and you can rest assured our reviews and rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.
Sun Badger Solar
- Offers products from leading manufacturers
- Competitive pricing
- Offers rewards for customer referrals
- No leases or PPAs
- Relatively young company
- Solar Panels
- Solar Batteries
- EV Chargers
- Maintenance & Repairs
MN Solar and More, LLC
- NABCEP-certified technicians
- Offers rewards for customer referrals
- Excellent reputation
- Limited service area
- Limited information available on website
- Relatively young company
- Solar Panels
- Solar Batteries
- EV Chargers
- Electrical Work
Cost of Solar Panels in Minnesota
Based on market research and data from our top solar brands, we’ve found that the average cost of solar panels in Minnesota is $2.84 per watt, which is above the national average of $2.66 per watt. The typical size of a solar panel system in Minnesota is 8 kilowatts, which would cost roughly $22,720, or $16,813 after the federal tax credit.
Keep in mind that these figures are only estimates, and the price of installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems for your home may look quite different based on factors unique to you. We recommend getting quotes from at least three installers and comparing them to find the best deal.
Solar Panel System Installation Cost in Minnesota
Depending on the size of your system and the company you choose, we’ve estimated that a solar panel installation in Minnesota would cost somewhere between $14,000 and $29,000 before applying any tax credits or solar incentives.
To offset the average monthly electric bill of $102, a Minnesota resident would need roughly an 8-kilowatt solar panel system, which comes out to about $16,813 after factoring in the 26% federal tax credit.
We’ve included the average prices for solar renewable energy systems in Minnesota before and after the tax credit in the table below:
|Size of Solar Panel System||Minnesota Solar Panel Cost||Cost After Federal Tax Credit|
Interested to learn about the best solar companies in Minnesota? We’ve vetted a number of installers that offer affordable, high-quality systems. Select one of our top providers below to learn more.
What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Minnesota?
The cost of solar panels in Minnesota can vary quite a lot, depending on a few major cost factors. Most homeowners in the state pay around $16,813 for their solar energy systems, but your price could fall anywhere between $10,508 and $23,118 — the typical price range in the area.
We’ll discuss some of the more crucial things that can have an impact on your solar system price below.
One of the largest deciding factors of your solar panel system price is the equipment you install. Both the type of equipment and the brand of the solar panels you choose will play a role in your total.
Minnesota is home to some severe weather, including intense snow storms, thunderstorms and strong winds. While these weather events are unlikely to damage your solar panels, they do make power outages a more significant risk.
As a result, some homeowners in Minnesota commonly choose add-on products like solar batteries that store electricity to maintain power through the relatively frequent blackouts. Solar batteries are great assets in Minnesota, but they also drive up the cost of installing your solar system. The most popular batteries will add around $10,000 to your total.
Additionally, not all solar equipment is created equal, and some brands are far more beneficial in Minnesota than others. The state receives just 195 sunny days per year, which is well below the national average.
The low intensity of Minnesota sunlight, or sometimes lack thereof, means that high-efficiency solar panels are a requirement in the area, especially if you want to eliminate your energy bills. Efficient panel brands — like Maxeon panels from SunPower — are more costly and will increase your expected solar system price.
Solar Financing in Minnesota
Solar panel systems in Minnesota will always be expensive, but the specific price you pay will depend, in part, on how you pay for them.
- Using cash to purchase your solar equipment will mean you’ll avoid interest and enjoy an overall lower total. However, you will need a much larger payment upfront.
- Choosing a solar loan will reduce or eliminate that upfront payment, but your all-in costs to go solar will be more expensive because of the interest payments.
Luckily, Minnesota has a few options for making solar financing more accessible. For one, the Minnesota Property Assessed Clean Energy (MinnPACE) program seeks to provide affordable solar loan solutions to all homeowners.
Additionally, the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) serves to provide Minnesota residents (and residents of several other states) with low-APR loan options that specifically appeal to low- and moderate-income households.
Residential solar financing via the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) is also an option for those who don’t qualify for low-income benefits.
Minnesota Solar Installation Company
The solar installation company you choose can also play a fairly significant role in your overall pricing. Each company uses different pricing models based on the labor and equipment costs, and some companies offer discounted services or equipment to keep costs down for customers.
For this reason, the same equipment from two companies could be priced wildly differently.
Additionally, every solar installer offers different products, and the available solar panel brands can affect the prices you’re quoted for service. For example, SunPower, a national solar company in Minnesota, only installs Maxeon solar panels. These products are considered high-quality and come with an industry-leading warranty.
However, a local company like All Energy Solar installs products from Tesla, JA Solar and LONGi. These products can’t match the power and efficiency of Maxeon panels, but they’re also less expensive. As such, All Energy Solar will naturally be a more affordable choice than SunPower, although it’s still important to factor in quality.
Additional Considerations and Costs in Minnesota
There are some other minor factors you’ll want to consider when choosing a solar panel installation company in Minnesota. We’ll include some information about these factors below.
- Permits: Every individual municipality in Minnesota requires that a building permit is filed before work on a solar system installation can begin. Most of the time, the permitting process is tackled by your installer, but you should confirm this before signing any contracts.
- Interconnection agreement: The State of Minnesota requires that all grid-tied PV system installations must be cleared with the local electrical provider before turning the system on. To get permission to operate (PTO) from your utility, customers must file for interconnection. This usually comes with a fee of around $100 in Minnesota and should be handled by your solar installer.
- Warranties: Solar panel warranties are an important part of protecting your system from damage and other issues. The longer the warranty, the better, but you should also consider how comprehensive it is. The best warranties include protection for your panel performance, equipment damage and improper installation.
- HOAs: Minnesota is one of the few states that haven’t passed any solar rights laws. As such, your homeowners association (HOA) can legally prevent you from installing solar, so you should check with your manager before
- Environmental zoning: Minnesota’s zoning laws are conducive to installing solar panels, but you should still confirm with your installer that there won’t be any issues.
Minnesota Solar Incentives
To reduce the upfront cost of solar panels in Minnesota, there are a number of state, federal and local incentives you can take advantage of. Here are the highlights:
|Minnesota Solar Incentive||How it Affects the Cost of Solar Panels in Minnesota|
|Sales Tax Exemption||Solar electric equipment purchased in Minnesota is 100% exempt from the state sales tax.|
|Property Tax Exemption||Although installing a solar PV system will increase your property value, Minnesota has made sure your property taxes won’t rise as a result.|
|Net Metering||Through net metering programs, which municipal and public utilities are required to offer in Minnesota, you can get compensated by your utility company for your panels’ excess energy production.|
|Local Solar Rebates & Incentives||Make sure to look up any additional rebate programs or credits available from your city or utility company. For example, Minnesota Power, the City of Minneapolis and Rochester Public Utilities all offer their own solar rewards.|
|Federal Solar Tax Credit||The federal solar tax credit, also known as the solar investment tax credit (ITC) is currently valued at 26% of your total system cost. It will decrease to 22% in 2023 and, unless renewed by Congress, disappear completely for residential systems come 2024.|
The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Minnesota
Minnesota is home to nearly 50 solar panel installers, all of which provide access to a different subset of solar panel brands.1 These brands vary in price and efficiency, so choosing one can be challenging.
The table below includes a price comparison of the top solar panel manufacturers so that you can decide which ones are most likely to fit within your budget.
|Solar Panel Brand||Average Cost Per Watt ($-$$$$$)|
Ready to get a quote for a customized solar panel system and see what going solar will cost for your home? Select one of our top providers below and we’ll have a reliable and pre-vetted solar installer in your area reach out to you right away.
Read More About Going Solar
FAQs: Solar Panel Cost Minnesota
Here are the most common questions we see from homeowners in Minnesota who are looking to go solar. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The average cost of solar panels in Minnesota is $2.84 per watt. Using this figure, a typical 8-kW solar system would cost $16,813 in Minnesota after claiming the 26% federal solar tax credit.
Yes, adding solar panels will increase the value of your Minnesota home, as research shows they increase the value of any home. In fact, a study from Zillow found that homes with solar panels sell for 4.1% more than homes without.
We will always advise buying your solar panels over choosing a solar lease. While we understand the high costs involved with buying solar panels in Minnesota, you can’t take advantage of the maximum savings and benefits of having solar panels if you do not own them.
With a solar lease, you’re not eligible to claim the federal tax credit or any local incentives. You also can’t capitalize on the increased property value of your home. Furthermore, leasing can be tricky to transfer or cancel. For these reasons, we always recommend buying your solar panels outright and exploring different financing methods to find one that’s feasible for you.
No, solar panels are not free in Minnesota — or anywhere else, for that matter. Some companies will advertise “free solar panels” when they’re really offering solar leases, which is a bit misleading. When you lease your solar panels, you’re essentially renting them from another company that retains complete ownership.
Taking advantage of this “free solar panel” option isn’t necessarily bad, but you save the least amount of money this way. As mentioned before, when you lease solar panels, you’re not eligible for any of the benefits awarded to homeowners who install solar panels such as tax incentives.
It’s possible. The possibility that solar panels will reduce or eliminate energy bills is one of the main benefits of going solar. Depending on how much energy your panels produce and how much energy you consume, solar panels can greatly reduce (or even eliminate) your energy bills, starting in your first year of system ownership.