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Payback and ROI of Solar Energy for Farms & Businesses

Solar for Businesses | 6 min read
Payback & ROI of Solar Energy For Businesses

Installing solar panels requires an upfront investment. The return on that investment and the length of the payback period are often big factors for those deciding whether or not to go solar.


However, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to solar ROIs and payback periods. The return you’ll see will be specific to several factors unique to your business or farm. These include the amount and cost of electricity you use, your system’s size, installation cost, the available tax benefits, and your local weather.

 

This blog will give you a general idea of the value of a solar system. It shows investment data from our installed solar energy systems over the last year. These averages are grouped by state and market sector (agricultural or commercial), allowing you to take a look at what others in your area are saving with solar. The data includes the average ROI on solar panels and the average payback period for solar panels.


It’s important to note that the numbers included below will likely be close but different from those you’d see on your custom solar system. The best way to find out the financial benefit of a solar system that best fits your needs is to get a free quote. This would give you exact numbers with a cash flow statement outlining your investment.


Not a farm or business? Check out our blog on the ROI and payback for solar energy for homes.

Use the links below to jump ahead to the information for your state. 

Agricultural

Commercial

Agricultural Solar Energy Paybacks in 2022 

Farmers have always depended on energy from the sun to grow crops. Now, many farmers are also turning to the sun for the electricity that powers their farms and saves them money on energy bills. 

Whether you raise livestock or crops, farms can use a great deal of electricity. Solar energy can help you gain control of rising energy costs, slashing your overhead and boosting your bottom line. 

Farmers from Virginia to Upstate New York are seeing first-hand the economic benefits of an investment in solar energy.

 

Solar Energy ROI & Payback for Delaware Farmers

Parry-Poultry-Farm_1

Average System Size: 82.21 kW

Average Annual Production: 146,024 kWh 

What’s the Average ROI of Solar for Delaware Farmers?

Farmers in Delaware see an average ROI of 17.8% on their solar panel installation.

What is the Average Payback of Solar for Delaware Farmers?

On average, an agricultural solar system in Delaware will pay for itself in 9 years. That is 16 to 21 years of solar panels’ lifespan to produce free solar electricity. 

Solar Energy ROI & Payback for Maryland Farmers

Gentle-Giants-Horse_Solar-Panels_2Average System Size: 43.3 kW

Average Annual Production: 48,543 kWh 

What’s the Average ROI of Solar for Maryland Farmers? An average solar system installed on a Maryland farm will have an ROI of 13.27%.

What is the Average Payback of Solar for Maryland Farmers?

The average Maryland farm will pay off its solar panel system in just 7.7 years. That leaves decades of the solar system’s 25-30 year lifespan to produce free electricity. 

 

Solar Energy ROI & Payback for New York Farmers

Average System Size: 33.1 kW

Average Annual Production: 36,632 kWh 

What’s the Average ROI of Solar for New York Farmers?

New York farmers, on average, can expect an ROI of 15% on solar panels.

What is the Average Payback of Solar for New York Farmers?

7 years is the solar panel payback period for the average agricultural system in New York. That leaves at least 23 years of the solar system’s 30+ year lifespan of free electricity. 

 

Solar Energy ROI & Payback for Ohio Farmers

Average System Size: 15.53 kW

Average Annual Production: 19,038.5 kWh 

What’s the Average ROI of Solar for Ohio Farmers?

Ohio farmers will get a 9.9% ROI for their solar systems.

What is the Average Payback of Solar for Ohio Farmers?

The average farmer in Ohio will pay off their system in 11.5 years, leaving a comfortable majority of solar’s 30+ year lifespan to provide free electricity.

Note: Our OH farm data is from 2021.

 

Solar Energy ROI & Payback for Pennsylvania Farmers

Zimmerman--ready1

Average System Size: 63.14 kW

Average Annual Production: 72,267 kWh 

What’s the Average ROI of Solar for Pennsylvania Farmers?

A solar system installed on a Pennsylvania farm has an average ROI of 10.48%.

What is the Average Payback of Solar for Pennsylvania Farmers?

Pennsylvania farmers will pay off their solar energy systems with electricity savings & other benefits in less than 10.75 years. That leaves nearly two decades of solar’s 30+ year lifespan to provide free electricity.

Solar Energy ROI & Payback for Virginia Farmers

Average System Size: 23.81 kW

Average Annual Production: 33,430 kWh 

What’s the Average ROI of Solar for Virginia Farmers?

A solar energy investment can provide a 15.4% ROI on average for Virginia farms.

What is the Average Payback of Solar for Virginia Farmers?

In just 9 years, Virginia's average agricultural solar energy system will have paid for its solar system.

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Commercial Solar Energy Paybacks in 2022

Cutting costs for your business means increased profits. But only if those cost-cutting measures don’t interfere with production, service, or quality. 

Solar energy offers a way to do just that.

Tax credits and other savings make the upfront investment easy, keeping paybacks short and ROIs high.

Solar Energy ROI & Payback for Delaware Businesses

solar panels roof harrington de businessAverage System Size: 47.87 kW

Average Annual Production: 57,999 kWh

What’s the Average ROI of Solar for Delaware Businesses? The average Delaware business can expect a 12.18% ROI on its solar investments.

What is the Average Payback of Solar for Delaware Businesses?

The average business will pay off its solar system in 8.25 years, leaving decades in the solar system’s 30+ year lifespan to produce free electricity. 

 

Solar Energy ROI & Payback for Maryland Businesses

Average System Size: 53.79 kW

Average Annual Production: 62,618 kWh 

What’s the Average ROI of Solar for Maryland Businesses?

Maryland businesses, on average, enjoy a 16.51% ROI on their solar investments.

What is the Average Payback of Solar for Maryland Businesses?

The average business will pay off its solar system in 8.3 years. That leaves decades in the solar system’s 30+ year lifespan to produce free electricity. 

Solar Energy ROI & Payback for New York Businesses

solar panels roof phelps ny businessAverage System Size: 65.9 kW

Average Annual Production: 70,738 kWh 

What’s the Average ROI of Solar for New York Businesses?

Solar systems will earn New York businesses, on average, an 9.7% ROI.

What is the Average Payback of Solar for New York Businesses?

The average business in New York will pay off its solar system in 9.5 years. That leaves over two decades in the solar system’s 30+ year lifespan to produce free electricity. 

Solar Energy ROI & Payback for Ohio Businesses

ProVia-Cherry-Ridge_1Average System Size: 287.65 kW

Average Annual Production: 304,927 kWh 

What’s the Average ROI of Solar for Ohio Businesses? Ohio businesses will get a 9.09% ROI for their solar systems on average.

What is the Average Payback of Solar for Ohio Businesses?

The average business in Ohio will pay off its system in 12.6 years, leaving nearly two decades of the solar system’s expected lifespan.

Solar Energy ROI & Payback for Pennsylvania Businesses

Average System Size: 170.71 kW

Average Annual Production: 189,144 kWh 

What’s the Average ROI of Solar for Pennsylvania Businesses?

A solar system can provide an average ROI of 11.13% for Pennsylvania businesses.

What is the Average Payback of Solar for Pennsylvania Businesses?

Pennsylvania businesses will pay off their solar systems with electricity savings in 11 years. That still leaves well over half of the solar system’s expected 30+ year lifespan left.

Solar Energy ROI & Payback for Virginia Businesses

ACrewe-Tractor-Aerial-of-solar-systemverage System Size: 41.64 kW

Average Annual Production: 50,997 kWh 

What’s the Average ROI of Solar for Virginia Businesses? Virginia businesses can earn a 12.73% ROI on their solar energy investment. 

What is the Average Payback of Solar for Virginia Businesses?

In just 9.7 years, the average Virginia business will have paid for its solar system with the money saved from its solar system. That leaves over two decades of the solar system’s 30+ year expected lifespan.     

Solar Energy Investment Data Summary

Solar Energy Return on Investment in 2022

Average-Solar-Energy-ROI-For-Businesses-and-farms-2022

Average ROI for All Agricultural Projects: 14.39%

Average ROI for All Commercial Projects: 11.89%

A good way to determine the value of your solar system’s ROI is to compare it to the ROI of investing in stocks. Most agree that an average, long-term stock investment should provide about a 10% ROI.

In most states, solar energy investments for farms and businesses offer a higher return than that 10%. Additionally, the risks associated with investing in solar energy are far less than investing in the stock market.

With solar, your return is dependent on the sun shining and your need for electricity. Both are all but guarantees. With the stock market, you’re dependent on the company you’ve invested in to turn a profit despite unpredictable consumer preferences.

Break-Even Point for Solar Panels in 2022

Average-Solar-Energy_Payabck-For-Businesses-and-farms-2022

Average Payback for Farm’s Solar Panels: 8.69 Years

Average Payback for Business’s Solar Panels: 9.89 Years

Solar systems gradually pay for themselves through the free electricity they produce. Instead of paying your monthly electricity bill from the utility, you can put it towards paying for the upfront cost of the solar system.

But unlike the never-ending bills from the utility company, you’ll eventually finish paying for your system. After that, everything you save on your energy bills goes right to your bottom line for the remainder of the system’s life.

Many solar panel manufacturers guarantee their solar panels for 25 or 30 years. That means they should be generating free electricity for at least that long.

In our data set, these warranties expire long after the average payback period. And once the warranty expires, your system may continue producing plenty of free energy for years to come.

 

Discover Your Own Solar ROI and Payback

Are you interested to see how solar energy could benefit your business or farm? The first step is to request your free custom quote. Your quote will provide a complete picture of what a solar investment would look like, including the installation cost, available incentives, ROI, and payback.

And as long as you're working with a trusted, reputable solar installer, it’s typical that the ROI on the estimate is the ROI you’ll see. And with Paradise Energy’s Triple Ten Guarantee, it’s even safer.Request Pricing for Your Solar System

If you're not ready for a quote, visit our other blog posts or download our Solar Buying Guide to learn more about a solar investment. 

This data was last updated on September 30, 2022. 

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