Cost of Solar Panels in South Dakota: Local Solar Installation Prices (2022)

Here’s a quick look at the estimated cost of solar in South Dakota:

  • Average Cost Per Watt: $2.39
  • Cost of Average System: $18,570*
  • Cost of Energy Without Solar: $48,018
  • Payback Period: 12 Years**
  • Lifetime Savings of Going Solar: $22,923

*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.

Ecowatch Author Karsten Neumeister

By Karsten Neumeister, Solar Expert

Updated 5/17/2022

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Find Cost Savings on Solar in South Dakota

As a homeowner in South Dakota, you may be wondering: How much do solar panels cost in your area? In this article, we’ll discuss the average cost of a solar installation, how much that can save you on energy for your home and what incentives are available in your region. If you want to jump straight to getting a quote for an installation, you can follow the links below to speak with a verified professional.

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GenPro Energy Solutions

  • Pros icon NABCEP-certified technicians
  • Pros icon Competitive pricing
  • Pros icon Multitude of products and services
  • Con icon No leases or PPAs
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Lakota Solar Enterprises

  • Pros icon Representatives are experts on local policies
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  • Con icon Limited brands of solar equipment available

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Black Hills Solar

  • Pros icon Outstanding customer service
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  • Con icon No leases or PPAs
  • Pros icon Relatively young company
  • Con icon Limited service area

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  • Service icon Solar Panels
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  • Service icon Maintenance & Repairs

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Cost of Solar Panels in South Dakota

Solar panel systems in South Dakota cost around $2.39 per watt, which is well below the national average of $2.66 per watt. The standard system size required to offset the average electric cost of $121 per month in South Dakota is 10.5 kilowatts, which is also below the national average.1 Using these numbers, we can calculate that the typical solar array in SD totals around $25,095 before the 26% federal tax credit, or $18,570 after the credit. This total is lower than most areas throughout the country.

Solar Panel System Installation Cost in South Dakota

Since your solar system will be priced by the watt, the size of the system you require will be the most significant cost factor to consider. For every additional kilowatt you need for your home, your total cost will increase by approximately $2,390. You can use the table below to estimate the costs of other standard solar system sizes in South Dakota before and after the federal tax credit is considered.

Size of Solar Panel System South Dakota Solar Panel Cost Cost After Federal Tax Credit
8 kW $19,120 $14,149
9 kW $21,510 $15,917
10 kW $23,900 $17,686
11 kW $26,290 $19,455
12 kW $28,680 $21,223
13 kW $31,070 $22,992
14 kW $33,460 $24,760

Curious to see which solar installers are the most reputable and reliable in South Dakota? Click here.

What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in South Dakota?

As mentioned above, the size of your system will be the predominant cost factor you need to consider when pricing out your solar conversion. There are some other things to factor in as well if you want to get as accurate an estimate as possible. We’ll discuss three additional things to consider below.

Solar Equipment

Solar equipment is available from many different manufacturers, each of which provides different durability, warranties, efficiency and price points.

Choosing the most affordable solar panels, for example, will reduce your upfront costs, but they often lack the energy production capabilities of the most efficient panel brands. Paying more now could lead to greater savings on your electric bills over time, so you’ll have to consider more than just the upfront cost. For example, investing in the more costly Maxeon/SunPower panels or Tesla Powerwall batteries will yield a highly efficient system that could reduce your cost of electricity enough to make up the difference in price over time.

Additionally, not every solar system consists of the same pieces of equipment. Nearly every residential solar system project includes panels for energy generation and inverters for power conversion and interconnection, but you can customize your system a bit with things like electric vehicle chargers, solar batteries for energy storage, and more. Of course, these add-ons will bump up your system cost.

Solar Financing

Solar financing is a necessity for most homeowners looking to switch to solar, as the average total of $25,095 to go solar in South Dakota is prohibitively expensive. Solar loans make the conversion to renewable energy much more accessible by spreading out payments over many years.

However, there is a downside to financing: interest. On top of the cost of your system, your payments over time will include additional money according to your interest rate. Even with a low-APR solar loan, you could be looking at hundreds or thousands of dollars tacked onto the system price.

You can use a solar calculator to confirm the total amount you’ll pay to switch to clean energy, and you can always put more money down upfront to reduce your interest paid over time.

Solar Installation Company

Finally, the solar panel installation company completing the installation for you can have an impact on your total price. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), there are five solar installers local to South Dakota, plus many national companies that cover the state.2 As is the case with any home improvement company, solar installers can charge different prices for their labor and equipment.

More importantly, most solar contractors don’t install every solar equipment brand but instead work with a few options. Companies that carry only top-of-the-line equipment will naturally cost more because the equipment is more expensive. It’s best to compare companies based on both cost and the value provided for that price, as this will give you the best bang for your buck.

South Dakota Solar Incentives

Most South Dakotans probably find the prospect of paying the average cost of $25,095 to go solar difficult to swallow. Thankfully, the federal government and state government provide some solar incentives to ease the financial burden of going solar and make renewable energy a greater possibility throughout the state. Below, we’ll discuss some of the incentives available to South Dakota homeowners.

South Dakota Solar Incentive How it Affects the Cost of Solar Panels in South Dakota
Renewable Energy Systems Exemption In most cases, home improvements that raise the value of your home — including going solar — also raise your property taxes. South Dakota implemented a property tax exemption to guarantee that any bump in value up to $50,000 will not cause your property taxes to go up. For many South Dakota residents, that’s a long-term savings of thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.
Net Metering Net metering policies allow energy to flow back and forth between your solar system and the grid. Through net metering, you can get utility credits for the energy you send back to the grid when your system produces more than you use.

Unfortunately, South Dakota is one of the few remaining states that does not mandate net metering. Individual utility companies must provide the opportunity for interconnection, but there is no standard net metering policy. You’ll have to check with your electricity provider to confirm if net metering is available before you commit.

Local Solar Rebates & Incentives South Dakota comes up short in the local incentives arena as well. There aren’t any statewide rebates or tax incentives to ease the financial burden of converting to solar. Some utility companies offer energy-efficiency rebates for certain upgrades that your solar installer might offer, like LED lighting, Energy Star appliances and more. You can check the DSIRE database for available incentives from your utility provider.
Federal Solar Tax Credit Luckily, the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is available to homeowners across the country, including in South Dakota. This credit on your federal income taxes owed is for 26% of the total system cost, which, in South Dakota, comes out to an average credit of $6,525.

South Dakota Installed Solar System Costs in 2022 By Panel

Choosing the right solar equipment for your needs is essential for maximizing your savings and keeping your upfront costs as low as possible. The table below provides some of the best solar panel brands available in South Dakota, along with relative pricing.

Solar Panel Brand Average Cost Per Watt ($-$$$$$)
LG Solar $$$
Canadian Solar $$
JA Solar $$
Mission Solar $$
Panasonic $$
Q Cells $$
REC $$$
Silfab $$$
SunPower $$$$$
Tesla $$
Trina Solar $$$

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People Also Ask 

EcoWatch FAQ: Solar Panel Cost South Dakota

The EcoWatch team gets questions daily from South Dakota homeowners about the benefits and costs of going solar. Below are some of the questions we see most frequently, which might help you decide if a solar conversion is right for you.

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Karsten Neumeister

Solar Expert

Karsten Neumeister is a solar energy specialist with a background in writing and the humanities. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the renewable energy sector of New Orleans, focusing on solar energy policy and technology. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.

Top Installers For South Dakota