Solar Pricing & Incentives for Homeowners

Published December 29, 2010

Residential solar arrays can range from $15,000 to over $40,000 for larger arrays. The bulk of the system cost is the solar panels, so the major difference in pricing is simply determined by how many panels you need or want to cover your electric bills.

There are incentives to help you offset the cost of a home array provided by the Federal Government and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Homeowners with solar panels in Tennessee can take advantage of the TVA Generation Partners program as well as the 30% federal tax credit.

The 30% federal tax credit is available for systems installed before the end of 2016. This means that you can claim a credit on your taxes for 30% of the total cost of the system (less $1,000 rebate from TVA). The tax credit can be claimed for the year in which the system was installed, or it can be claimed for the previous tax year or in the following two years.

TVA offers an attractive incentive for residential grid-tied systems under the Green Power Providers (GPP) Program.  For systems under 50kW under, TVA buys 100% of the solar generation at 2 cents/kilowatt-hour + your current rate (about 11 cents/kWh) which totals about 13 cents per kWh.  For systems over 10kW, TVA limits system size to the use on-site.   The credits roll over month to month, and if you rack up a credit that you do not use, your local utility will send you a check after 12 months.  TVA also pays $1,000 after the completion of your array.