U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System and Energy Storage Cost Benchmark: Q1 2021

Research output: NRELPresentation


Based on our bottom-up modeling, the Q1 2021 PV and energy storage cost benchmarks are: $2.65 per watt DC (WDC) (or $3.05/WAC) for residential PV systems, 1.56/WDC (or $1.79/WAC) for commercial rooftop PV systems, $1.64/WDC (or $1.88/WAC) for commercial ground-mount PV systems, $0.83/WDC (or $1.13/WAC) for fixed-tilt utility-scale PV systems, $0.89/WDC (or $1.20/WAC) for one-axis-tracking utility-scale PV systems, $30,326-$33,618 for a 7.15-kWDC residential PV system with 5 kW/12.5 kWh nameplate of storage, $2.04 - $2.10 million for a 1-MWDC commercial ground-mount PV system colocated with 600 kW/2.4 MWhusable of storage, $166 - $167 million for a 100-MWDC one-axis tracker PV system colocated with 60 MW/240 MWhusable of storage. Between 2020 and 2021, there were 3.3% ($0.09/W), 10.7% ($0.19/W), and 12.3% ($0.13/W) reductions (in 2020 USD) in the residential, commercial rooftop, and utility-scale (one-axis) PV system cost benchmarks respectively. Balance of system (BOS) costs have either increased or remained flat across sectors, year-on-year, unlike in previous benchmark reports, which generally have reported declining BOS costs. The increase in BOS cost has been offset by a 19% reduction in module cost. Overall, modeled PV installed costs across the three sectors have declined compared to our Q1 2020 system costs.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages67
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-7A40-81408


  • energy storage
  • photovoltaic
  • PV cost
  • solar cost
  • storage cost
  • storage LCOE


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