The price of installing solar power for homeowners and businesses fell 11-14% in 2011 and in the first six months of 2012, new stats from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory show. In the fist six months of this year, California saw even greater drops in the cost of installing solar panels, an additional 3-7% above the national figures.
The report indicates that the median installed price of PV systems installed in 2011 was $6.10 per watt (W) for residential and small commercial systems smaller than 10 kilowatts (kW) in size and was $4.90/W for larger commercial systems of 100 kW or more in size. Utility-sector PV systems larger than 2,000 kW in size averaged $3.40/W in 2011.
That's for the nation as a whole. There's considerable variation on a regional basis, as well as by installation size.
Depending on the state in question, the median price for installing a solar PV system under 10 kW in size varied from $4.90 per watt to $7.60 per watt. As for variations based on size of installation: The median price for systems smaller than 2 kW was $7.70/W, commercial systems over 1,000 kW came in a $4.50/W, while utility-scale systems over 10,000 kW had a median price of $2.80-3.50/W.