Installed Cost Benchmarks and Deployment Barriers for Residential Solar Photovoltaics with Energy Storage: Q1 2016

Kristen Ardani, Ran Fu, Robert Margolis, Chris McClurg, Joshua Huneycutt, Eric OShaughnessy

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


In this report, we fill a gap in the existing knowledge about PV-plus-storage system costs and value by providing detailed component- and system-level installed cost benchmarks for residential systems. We also examine other barriers to increased deployment of PV-plus-storage systems in the residential sector. The results are meant to help technology manufacturers, installers, and other stakeholders identify cost-reduction opportunities and inform decision makers about regulatory, policy, and market characteristics that impede solar plus storage deployment. In addition, our periodic cost benchmarks will document progress in cost reductions over time. To analyze costs for PV-plus-storage systems deployed in the first quarter of 2016, we adapt the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's component- and system-level cost-modeling methods for standalone PV. In general, we attempt to model best-in-class installation techniques and business operations from an installed-cost perspective. In addition to our original analysis, model development, and review of published literature, we derive inputs for our model and validate our draft results via interviews with industry and subject-matter experts. One challenge to analyzing the costs of PV-plus-storage systems is choosing an appropriate cost metric. Unlike standalone PV, energy storage lacks universally accepted cost metrics, such as dollars per watt of installed capacity and lifetime levelized cost of energy. We explain the difficulty of arriving at a standard approach for reporting storage costs and then provide the rationale for using the total installed costs of a standard PV-plus-storage system as our primary metric, rather than using a system-size-normalized metric.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages41
StatePublished - 2017

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-7A40-67474


  • balance of system
  • PV
  • residential
  • soft costs
  • solar balance of system
  • solar soft costs
  • storage system costs


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