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

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

  • Average Cost Per Watt: $2.49
  • Cost of Average System: $22,111*
  • Cost of Energy Without Solar: $49,568
  • Payback Period: 13 Years**
  • Lifetime Savings of Going Solar: $19,688

*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 5/19/2022

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Find Cost Savings on Solar in Tennessee

As a homeowner in Tennessee, 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.

Outstanding Regional Installer
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Regional Service

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Shine Solar, LLC

  • Pros icon Many financing options
  • Pros icon Great warranty coverage
  • Pros icon Offers a panel buy-back option
  • Pros icon Outstanding workmanship
  • Con icon Relatively young company
  • Con icon Limited brands of solar equipment available

Services Offered

  • Service icon Solar Panels
  • Service icon Solar Batteries
  • Service icon HVAC Services
  • Service icon Energy-Efficiency Upgrades
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LightWave Solar

  • Pros icon NABCEP-certified technicians
  • Pros icon Excellent reputation
  • Pros icon Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Con icon No leases or PPAs
  • Con icon Limited service area

Services Offered

  • Service icon Solar Panels
  • Service icon Solar Batteries
  • Service icon System Monitoring
  • Service icon Solar Carports
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Greene Tech Renewable Energy

  • Pros icon NABCEP-certified technicians
  • Pros icon Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Pros icon Competitive pricing
  • Con icon Limited information available on website
  • Con icon Limited warranty coverage

Services Offered

  • Service icon Solar Panels
  • Service icon Maintenance & Repairs
  • Service icon System Monitoring
  • Service icon Equipment Sales

Cost of Solar Panels in Tennessee

The average cost of solar panels in Tennessee is $2.49 per watt, which is significantly lower than the national average of $2.66 per watt. That means that it’s likely more affordable to install solar energy projects in Tennessee compared to most other states. Plus, solar panel prices have fallen 4% in Tennessee over the last five years and will likely keep falling as renewable energy alternatives become popular.1

Our data shows that the typical Tennessee homeowner installs a 12-kilowatt (kW) solar energy system. Plugging the figure above ($2.49 per watt) into our solar calculator, we found the average homeowner can expect to pay about $29,880 for a 12-kW solar panel system in Tennessee. Note that this figure is before any solar tax credits are applied.

Also, the numbers in this article are averages for the entire state of Tennessee. Solar panel costs may be different for residents who live in more populous cities, like Nashville or Memphis.

Solar Panel System Installation Cost in Tennessee

Based on the company you choose and the size of the solar system needed to power your home, we’ve estimated that the average solar panel installation in Tennessee would cost between $22,400 and $37,400. These figures drop to between $16,580 and $27,640 after applying the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), also known as the federal solar tax credit.

The table below shows the average prices for a solar panel system in Tennessee before and after the 26% federal tax credit:

Size of Solar Panel System Tennessee Solar Panel Cost Cost After Federal Tax Credit
9 kW $22,410 $16,583
10 kW $24,900 $18,426
11 kW $27,390 $20,269
12 kW $29,880 $22,111
13 kW $32,370 $23,954
14 kW $34,860 $25,796
15 kW $37,350 $27,639

Interested to see our picks for the best solar companies in Tennessee that offer affordable, high-quality systems? Click here.

What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Tennessee?

As you’re reading through this article, keep in mind that the numbers on this page may not be the exact amount you pay for your home solar system. The cost of solar panels can vary greatly depending on many specifics of your home, like where you live and how much direct sunlight your roof receives.

Let’s look at some of the other factors that drive the cost of solar panels in Tennessee:

Solar Equipment

As noted on the chart above, the size of your solar panel system will play the biggest role in determining how much solar panel installation costs in Tennessee. For example, a 5-kW system would cost nearly $12,500, while a 30-kW system would cost more than $75,500.

While the average Tennessee home would need a 12-kW to truly offset energy costs, your home may be different. You can get a rough idea of how many solar panels you’ll need based on your past electric bills, available roof space and the amount of sunlight your home gets. But the only way to know for sure is to get an assessment from a reputable solar company near you.

It’s not only the size, but the quality and name brand of the solar equipment you install that will change the price. For example, the solar installer SunPower carries the most efficient solar panel, so they tend to be a bit more expensive. Other solar companies may carry a wider range of solar brands and offer cheap solar panels or more affordable inverters that can reduce your overall solar installation cost in Tennessee. Whether your installation is connected to the power grid or off-grid can also affect the cost.

Solar Financing

How you finance your solar panel system will also affect the overall cost. We know it’s expensive, but we recommend paying as much as you can upfront to maximize your savings. We don’t suggest you take on solar leases or power purchase agreements (PPAs) because you won’t be able to capitalize on all of the solar incentives available if you don’t own your panels. If you take on a solar loan try to get a low-interest rate and work to pay back your system as soon as possible to avoid paying extra.

Solar Installation Company

As mentioned earlier, different solar installation companies will offer different equipment brands that can alter the cost of your solar panel installation in Tennessee. The good news is that there are over 40 different solar companies to choose from, so you can get multiple solar quotes and find a company that offers you the best value for your home.2

Tennessee Solar Incentives

Tennessee is not one of the top states for solar, but solar panels are becoming increasingly popular in the state. It could be because residents are seeking energy independence from utility companies, or perhaps they’re interested in lowering their utility bills.

Whatever your reason for making the switch to clean energy alternatives, we want you to get the maximum reward. Unfortunately, Tennessee doesn’t have a ton of great state incentives for going solar, but we’ve outlined some of the financial incentives available below:

Tennessee Solar Incentive How it Affects the Cost of Solar Panels in Tennessee
Green Energy Property Tax Assessment A special “ad valorem property tax assessment” for green energy producers. It’s not quite a tax exemption, but rather a fancy way of saying there’s a limit to how much property tax can be placed on a residential solar photovoltaic system. That limit is 12.5% of the total cost of the system.3
Net Metering in Tennessee Tennessee does not offer statewide net metering and does not have standardized interconnection rules. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) offered a dual-metering option for participants in its Green Power Providers program, but it looks like they’re not accepting any new applicants at the moment.4
Local Solar Rebates & Incentives There are a handful of local utilities that offer energy efficiency rebates and solar companies are capable of carrying out those installations. For instance, the Knoxville Utilities Board offers $400 rebates for electric vehicle (EV) charger installations.5 Check out DSIRE to see if your utility offers any applicable incentives to your home solar system.
Federal Solar Tax Credit The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a tax incentive that allows solar adopters to claim 26% of their total solar equipment and installation costs as a tax credit on their next federal filing. The 26% credit is in effect for any solar project purchased in 2022, however, the tax credit is set to decrease to 22% in 2023 and disappear completely in 2024 if it’s not extended by the federal government.
Sales Tax Credit for Clean Energy Technology This is only for commercial solar installations, but it allows taxpayers to take a credit, to apply for a refund of taxes paid, or to apply for authority to make tax-exempt purchases for solar equipment in a certified green energy production facility.6

Best Solar Panel Brands and Installed Solar System Costs in 2022

The type of solar equipment you install will play a huge role in the total cost of your solar panels in Tennessee. We’ve highlighted some of the best and most commonly-used solar panel brands in the chart below.

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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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 Tennessee