U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System and Energy Storage Cost Benchmarks, With Minimum Sustainable Price Analysis: Q1 2023

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) aims to accelerate the advancement and deployment of solar technology in support of an equitable transition to a decarbonized economy no later than 2050, starting with a decarbonized power sector by 2035. Its approach to achieving this goal includes driving innovations in technology, hardware, and soft cost reductions to make solar affordable and accessible for all. As part of this effort, SETO must track solar cost trends so it can focus its research and development (R&D) on the highest-impact activities. The benchmarks in this report are bottom-up cost estimates of all major inputs to PV and energy storage system installations. Bottom-up costs are based on national averages and do not necessarily represent typical costs in all local markets. Like last year's report, this year's report includes two distinct sets of benchmarks: minimum sustainable price (MSP) benchmarks and modeled market price (MMP) benchmarks. MSP benchmarks can be interpreted as the minimum price a company needs to charge to remain financially solvent in the long term based on the minimum sustainable prices of all inputs including minimum sustainable profit margins. MMP benchmarks can be interpreted as the actual cash sales price a company charges in the given benchmark period. These simplified estimates are useful for tracking technological progress, but they do not reflect all experiences. In fact, no individual estimate under any approach can reflect the diversity of the PV and storage manufacturing and installation industries. Our residential MMP benchmark ($2.90 per watt direct current [Wdc]) is 24% higher than the MSP benchmark ($2.34/Wdc) and 9% lower than our MMP benchmark ($3.18/Wdc) from Q1 2022 in 2022 U.S. dollars (USD). For community solar, our MMP benchmark ($1.75/Wdc) is 18% higher than our MSP benchmark ($1.49/Wdc). Our Q1 2022 benchmark report has no community solar system for comparison. For utility-scale systems with one-axis tracking, our MMP benchmark ($1.17/Wdc) is 22% higher than our MSP benchmark ($0.96/Wdc) and 10% higher than its counterpart ($1.07/Wdc) in Q1 2022 in 2022 USD.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages52
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-7A40-87303


  • battery cost
  • battery system cost
  • commercial battery cost
  • commercial PV cost
  • cost
  • PV cost
  • PV system cost
  • residential battery cost
  • residential PV cost
  • solar
  • utility battery cost
  • utility PV cost


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