Wyoming Solar Panel Buyers Guide [Installation & Efficiency 2022]

Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide to Wyoming solar panels:

  • How to get started with solar energy in WY
  • How to size your system to offset your energy bills
  • What solar benefits are available in your area
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How to Get Solar Panels in Wyoming

The first step to putting a solar system in place is to contact a local installer. You can request a free quote, which should include a review of your electric bills and a property inspection. Next, you’ll choose a financing option. You can pay with cash, a solar loan, a solar lease, or a power purchase agreement (PPA).

Once payment is made, your installer will share the system design with you to get your approval. Permits will be pulled, and after a waiting period for approval from your local jurisdiction, your system will be installed.

Solar panel installation process
Credit: Raze Solar / Unsplash

Converting to solar energy is highly beneficial for most WY residents. This clean energy solution will make your home more environmentally friendly, and it will also end up saving you on energy bills. The average system in WY pays for itself and then can save money for years to come — usually around $15,000 more.

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Creative Energies Solar

Solar Veteran

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Certified B Corp
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Many years of experience
  • Multitude of products and services

Cons

  • No leases or PPAs
  • Slightly expensive
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Apollo Energy

Great Social Impact

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Women-owned
  • Bilingual service associates
  • Certified B Corp
  • NABCEP-certified technicians
  • Makes charitable contributions

Cons

  • Relatively young company
  • No leases or PPAs
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The Solar Guys

Outstanding Regional Installer

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Comprehensive service offerings
  • Locally owned and operated
  • Outstanding customer service

Cons

  • Limited service area
  • Limited information available on website
  • Relatively young company

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What Is the Price of Solar Panel Installation in Wyoming?

Solar equipment can vary a lot in price based on a bunch of factors, but the average cost per watt in WY is $2.57. The local system requirements usually sit at around 9 kilowatts (kW), which puts the total installation cost at $23,130. This can come down to around $16,000 if you take the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC).

Most solar energy systems in the U.S. pay for themselves in around 12 years. This is called the panel payback period, and it’s a good measurement of how valuable solar is in an area. The average payback period in WY is 13 years, which is just above the national average.

For more information on pricing and value metrics, you can read through our comprehensive guide to the cost of solar panels in WY.

The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Wyoming

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reports that WY ranks 42nd in the nation for solar installations.1 Despite the low ranking, the solar industry within the state is still strong. WY residents will have a variety of choices when it comes to installers and equipment brands.

Wyoming receives plenty of sunshine, so high-efficiency brands usually aren’t mandatory. Some areas of the state see intense thunderstorms and tornado activity, which means warranty coverage is often prioritized.2

Below are some of the most popular panel brands installed in WY. These all come with excellent protection plans.

  • Maxeon (formally SunPower)
  • LG (soon to be discontinued)
  • Panasonic
  • Tesla
  • Mission Solar
  • REC
  • Qcells
  • Canadian Solar
  • Trina Solar

EcoWatch Preferred Partners

Here is a list of preferred partners in this area.

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Is Wyoming a Good State for Solar Panels?

Although the solar adoption rate in WY has been quite slow, there are several factors at play in the state that makes it a great option for solar conversion. We’ll discuss these below.

  • Abundant sunshine: Areas that receive an above-average number of sunny days per year naturally benefit more from solar conversion. More sun means more energy production, which translates to greater savings potential. WY homeowners enjoy an average of over 220 sunny days per year, which is well above the U.S. average.2
  • Below-average equipment costs: WY residents pay an average of $2.57 per watt for solar equipment, compared to the national average of $2.66. On a per-watt basis, this difference might not seem like much, but for the typical 9 kW system required in WY, that translates to savings of approximately $800.
  • Mandatory net metering program: WY is far from the best place for solar perks, but the state does mandate one of the most important ones net metering. Through interconnection, your excess energy production is credited at the avoided-cost electricity rate, which isn’t ideal, but the policy still helps reduce your panel payback period and your long-term cost of going solar by effectively reducing your average cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
  • Risk of power outages: Finally, WY is prone to power outages. Some outages result from the occasional bouts of extreme weather, but the entire state is at risk due to excessive strain on an aging and undersized electric grid.3 Installing panels and solar batteries can bring your home off-grid temporarily and provide electricity through blackouts.

How Much Energy Can I Get From Solar Panels in Wyoming?

Energy generation estimates are an important thing to consider for your solar power system. If you know how much energy your system produces, you can effectively size your solar array to be the most cost-effective. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get an accurate estimate without a professional inspecting your property.

Below, we’ll discuss some of the factors that can swing your production level up or down.

  • Rooftop sun exposure: One of the primary reasons a property inspection is useful is to determine how much — if any — shading your roof gets throughout the day. Trees, other homes or buildings, utility poles, and even power lines can all impede sunlight from hitting your solar panels and cause a dip in your production levels. Shading during peak sunlight hours will cause a significant downward swing in the energy generation capability of your system.
  • The direction your roof faces: The more intense the sunlight your panels receive, the more energy they will be able to generate. Since the sun travels across the southern portion of the sky in North America, south-facing roofs will naturally receive the most direct sunlight.4
  • Your panels’ energy efficiency: The specific brand of panels you install will have an effect on your production capabilities as well. Each brand has a specific efficiency rating, which tells you what portion of the available sunlight can be converted to electricity. Panels with higher efficiency ratings will generate more power in identical situations.
  • The number of panels you install: The size of the system you install will have a massive impact on your energy generation rates. Larger systems with more panels will always produce more for your home, provided the other factors remain equal. Each additional panel will produce approximately 100 kWh more for your home per month. For cost-effectiveness, though, it’s important to size your system appropriately rather than install as many panels as possible.
  • The weather: Finally, local weather conditions will affect your production, as cloud coverage, rain, and snow can all cause your panel efficiency to drop. The average conditions in your area should be taken into account by your solar contractor.

The chart below provides some average numbers based on common system sizes in WY. This should give you a rough idea of what to expect from your panels.

Solar Power System Size Expected Daily Energy Produced Expected Monthly Energy Produced Expected Annual Energy Produced
6 kW 20 kWh 600 kWh 7,200 kWh
7 kW 23.3 kWh 700 kWh 8,400 kWh
8 kW 26.6 kWh 800 kWh 9,600 kWh
9 kW 30 kWh 900 kWh 10,800 kWh
10 kW 33.3 kWh 1,000 kWh 12,000 kWh
11 kW 36.6 kWh 1,100 kWh 13,200 kWh
12 kW 40 kWh 1,200 kWh 14,400 kWh

For a more accurate estimate, you can use our solar calculator. This tool combines local weather data with satellite imaging of your home to determine shading on your roof, sunlight availability, and more. This lets you see how much energy panels on your specific roof will produce.

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Solar Panel Policy History in Wyoming

One of the reasons solar adoption has been so slow in WY is the lack of pro-solar legislation and statewide policies.

The only piece of legislation that was passed in WY that made a difference for all Wyoming solar customers was in 2001 when net metering was mandated statewide.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) required that all investor-owned utilities (IOUs) offer net excess generation (NEG) credits to customers who produced more electricity with their panels than they consumed. Those credits could then be used to pay down future utility bills. This was required for systems up to 25 kW.

The PSC also mandated that utility companies buy back unused credits at the beginning of each billing year. It also prohibited utilities from charging fees to customers for access to NEG metering.

Unfortunately, there was no specific rate structure imposed by the PUC for energy credits, so most electric companies offer energy credits at the avoided-cost rate, which is less beneficial than the retail rate. Still, this policy helped solidify the value of solar in WY.

Also in the 2000s, several utility providers began offering local incentives for energy efficiency upgrades. While not specifically for solar, these perks also helped push The Equality State toward renewable energy and environmental friendliness.

The utility companies offering these benefit programs include Black Hills Energy, Carbon Power & Light, Rocky Mountain Power, Questar Gas, and Lower Valley Energy.

WY currently does not have a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal, which means the state isn’t actively pushing clean energy.5

Once an RPS goal is set and renewable energy sources are prioritized, it’s likely that more pro-solar legislation will be adopted. These could include up-front savings as well as sales tax and property tax exemptions and a possible state tax credit.

What Are the Solar Panel Incentives in Wyoming?

Solar Investment Tax Credit

Currently, the lack of solar policy in WY has also led to a lack of solar incentives for customers. We’ll discuss the perks that are available below.

  • Federal solar tax credit: The federal tax credit is a massively beneficial incentive provided by the federal government. It provides a credit in the amount of 30% of your entire solar panel system cost, including panels, inverters, solar storage solutions, electric vehicle chargers, and other photovoltaic (PV) equipment. The average ITC amount in WY is just under $7,000. The credit gets applied to your income tax liability.
  • Net metering: As mentioned above, this policy credits you for all energy you produce with your PV system and don’t use it. The credits you receive can be rolled over and put toward future energy bills. This helps pay off your panels more quickly and can also bump up your long-term energy savings. Currently, utilities can and often do offer the avoided-cost (below retail) rate for electricity, rather than the retail rate which is more beneficial to customers.

For more information on these incentives or to see what other local rebates and perks are available to you, you can read our complete guide to Wyoming solar incentives.

Find a Local Installer in Wyoming

Choosing an installer for your solar project is a big deal. Your warranty coverage, panel efficiency, and system cost all depend heavily on the provider you pick. It’s wise to put some time and effort into researching different local installers to ensure you choose the best one for your home.

Below, we’ll include links to our reviews of some of the top solar installation companies in the larger cities in WY.

Panorama view of Casper, WY
Credit: Ken Lund / Flickr

Best Solar Installers in Casper

Wide-angle view of Laramie, WY
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Installers in Laramie

For company recommendations outside of these cities — including in Cheyenne, Gillette, and others — or for a look at regional and national providers as well, you can take a look at our guide to choosing a solar company in Wyoming.

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Blog author image
Dan Simms
Article author
Dan Simms is an experienced writer with a passion for renewable energy. As a solar and EV advocate, much of his work has focused on the potential of solar power and deregulated energy, but he also writes on related topics, like real estate and economics. In his free time — when he's not checking his own home's solar production — he enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, skiing and rock climbing.

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