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Payback and ROI of Solar Energy for Farms & Businesses

solar energy payback and roi

 

If you’re considering a solar investment, you’re going to want to know your solar power payback period and PV system’s return on investment. While you’ll get the most accurate answer to that with a personalized quote tailored to your specifics, we want to demystify these metrics to show the value a solar energy investment has.

 

Below, you’ll find answers to questions like how long does it take to pay off solar panels and what’s the return on investment for solar panels. We’ve compiled data by state and market sector to help you get an idea of what a solar investment can do for your farm or business. We also averaged out the system’s environmental impact, so you know what difference your solar system will make for future generations.

 

But please note, these numbers can vary a great deal from project to project, and only reflect projects completed in the first half of 2019. Just because the average for a state or sector is one thing does not necessarily mean yours will be as well. The amount of electricity you use, the rate you pay, your system’s size, and your local weather are just some of the variables that will cause your numbers to deviate from these averages.

 

Agricultural

Commercial

Data Summary

Discover Your Own Solar ROI and Payback
 
 

Agricultural 

Whether you farm crops, poultry, cows, or hogs, chances are, you use a good deal of electricity. Installing solar can help you take control of those high energy costs and make your farm even more profitable. From Virginia to Upstate New York, farmers are saving money with solar energy. 

 

Solar for Delaware Farmers

ground mount solar panels on delmarva farm

Average System Size: 254.44 kW

Average Annual Production: 321,202 kWh 

Average Electricity Usage Coverage: 102%

 

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

So far in 2019, the average ROI for a solar system installed for farmers in Delaware is 17.6%

 

What the Average Payback of Solar for Delaware Farmers?

Delaware farmers, on average, will pay for their solar system in 6.5 years, leaving decades in the solar system’s 30+ year lifespan to produce free electricity. 

 

What’s the Environmental Impact?

Each year, the average system will offset 5,814 trees, 250 tons of CO2, or 527 barrels of oil.

 

 

Solar for Maryland Farmers

roof mount solar panels on snow hill md barn

Average System Size: 147.14 kW

Average Annual Production: 185,048 kWh 

Average Electricity Usage Coverage: 83.68%

 

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

Maryland farmers, on average, enjoy a 21.08% ROI on their solar investments.

 

What the Average Payback of Solar for Maryland Farmers?

So far in 2019, the average farm will pay off its solar system in 6.0 years, leaving decades in the solar system’s 30+ year lifespan to produce free electricity. 

 

What’s the Environmental Impact?

Each year, the average system will offset 3,349 trees, 144 tons of CO2, or 303 barrels of oil.

 

 

 

Solar for New York Farmers

ground mount solar panels vineyard in branchport ny

Average System Size: 77.32 kW

Average Annual Production: 88,272 kWh 

Average Electricity Usage Coverage: 81.89%

 

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

Solar systems will earn New York farmers, on average, a 19.4% ROI.

 

What the Average Payback of Solar for New York Farmers?

So far in 2019, the average farm will pay off its solar system in 5.0 years, leaving decades in the solar system’s 30+ year lifespan to produce free electricity. 

 

What’s the Environmental Impact?

Each year, the average system will offset 1,598 trees, 69 tons of CO2, or 145 barrels of oil.

 

 

Solar for Ohio Farmers

coshocton oh ground mount solar panels farm

Average System Size: 15.53 kW

Average Annual Production: 19,038.5 kWh 

Average Electricity Usage Coverage: 81.97%

 

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

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

 

What 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.

 

What’s the Environmental Impact?

Each year, the average system will offset 345 trees, 14 tons of CO2, or 31 barrels of oil.

 

 

Solar for  Pennsylvania Farmers

solar panels bernville pa poultry farm

Average System Size: 110.10 kW

Average Annual Production: 123,440.63 kWh 

Average Electricity Usage Coverage: 86.80%

 

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

A 12.79% ROI can be earned with the average solar system for farms.

 

What the Average Payback of Solar for Pennsylvania Farmers?

Pennsylvania farms will pay off their solar systems with electricity savings in less than ten years, leaving a comfortable majority of solar’s 30+ year lifespan to provide free electricity.

 

What’s the Environmental Impact?

Each year, the average system will offset 2,234 trees, 96 tons of CO2, or 202 barrels of oil.

 

 

Solar for Virginia Farmers

solar panels poultry farm timberville va

Average System Size: 56.51 kW

Average Annual Production: 62,960 kWh 

Average Electricity Usage Coverage: 90.42%

 

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

Virginia farms can earn an average of 12.55% ROI on their solar investment. 

 

What the Average Payback of Solar for Virginia Farmers?

In just ten years, the average Virginia farm will have paid for its solar system with the money saved from their solar system.

 

What’s the Environmental Impact?

Each year, the average system will offset 1,140 trees, 49 tons of CO2, or 103 barrels of oil.

 

solar panel roi farms   solar panel payback farms

 

 

Commercial

Fixed costs are notoriously difficult to control. But what if there was an easy way to significantly reduce them? Businesses have found a way to do this, and it’s with solar energy. Tax savings make the upfront investment easy, and long-term savings provide a boost to their bottom line for decades.

 

Solar for Delaware Businesses

solar panels roof harrington de business

Data for Delaware Businesses only is from Q1 and Q2 of 2018, not 2019.

Average System Size: 25.08 kW

Average Annual Production: 31,607 kWh 

Average Electricity Usage Coverage: 100.2%

 

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

Delaware businesses, on average, enjoy a 12.4% ROI on their solar investments.

 

What the Average Payback of Solar for Delaware Businesses?

So far in 2019, the average businesses will pay off its solar system in 8.0 years, leaving decades in the solar system’s 30+ year lifespan to produce free electricity. 

 

What’s the Environmental Impact?

Each year, the average system will offset 572 trees, 25 tons of CO2, or 52 barrels of oil.

 

 

Solar for Maryland Businesses

solar panels roof millersville md

Average System Size: 66.33 kW

Average Annual Production: 67,056 kWh 

Average Electricity Usage Coverage: 113.65%

 

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

Maryland businesses, on average, enjoy a 16.1% ROI on their solar investments.

 

What the Average Payback of Solar for Maryland Businesses?

So far in 2019, the average businesses will pay off its solar system in 7.0 years, leaving decades in the solar system’s 30+ year lifespan to produce free electricity. 

 

What’s the Environmental Impact?

Each year, the average system will offset 1,214 trees, 52 tons of CO2, or 110 barrels of oil.

 

 

Solar for New York Businesses

solar panels roof phelps ny business

Average System Size: 95.02 kW

Average Annual Production: 94,427.33 kWh 

Average Electricity Usage Coverage: 96.38%

 

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

Solar systems will earn New York businesses, on average, a 10.77% ROI.

 

What the Average Payback of Solar for New York Businesses?

So far in 2019, the average business in New York will pay off its solar system in 7.6 years, leaving decades in the solar system’s 30+ year lifespan to produce free electricity. 

 

What’s the Environmental Impact?

Each year, the average system will offset 1,709 trees, 73 tons of CO2, or 155 barrels of oil.

 

 

Solar for Ohio Businesses

solar panels roof sugarcreek oh business

Average System Size: 246.6 kW

Average Annual Production: 266,044.8 kWh 

Average Electricity Usage Coverage: 62.03%

 

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

Ohio businesses will get a 12.48% ROI for their solar systems on average.

 

What the Average Payback of Solar for Ohio Businesses?

The average business in Ohio will pay off their system in 10.6 years.

 

What’s the Environmental Impact?

Each year, the average system will offset 4,815 trees, 207 tons of CO2, or 436 barrels of oil.

 

 

 

Solar for Pennsylvania Businesses

solar panels roof ronks pa business

Average System Size: 71.06kW

Average Annual Production: 74,172 kWh 

Average Electricity Usage Coverage: 78.9%

 

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

A 9.8% ROI can be earned with the average solar system for businesses.

 

What the Average Payback of Solar for Pennsylvania Businesses?

Pennsylvania businesses will pay off their solar systems with electricity savings in less than ten years.

 

What’s the Environmental Impact?

Each year, the average system will offset 1,343 trees, 58 tons of CO2, or 122 barrels of oil.

 

 

Solar for Virginia Businesses

solar panels roof virginia business

Average System Size: 27.72 kW

Average Annual Production: 32,697 kWh 

Average Electricity Usage Coverage: 100.04%%

 

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

Virginia businesses can earn a 21.9% ROI on their solar investment. 

 

What the Average Payback of Solar for Virginia Businesses?

In just 6.0 years, the average Virginia business will have paid for its solar system with the money saved from their solar system.

 

What’s the Environmental Impact?

Each year, the average system will offset 592 trees, 25 tons of CO2, or 54 barrels of oil.

 

solar panel roi businesses     solar panel payback businesses

 

Data Summary

Solar PV Return on Investment

Average ROI for All Agricultural Projects: 15.55%

Average ROI for All Commercial Projects: 13.91%

 

When it comes to solar’s ROI, a common measure to benchmark it against is the stock market. While many studies find that the average stock market investment has a 10% ROI, its risk is far greater than an investment in solar energy. 

 

With solar, your return comes from reducing your electricity bills by generating your own for free. With the stock market, you’re dependent on the company you’ve invested in to turn a profit despite unpredictable consumer preferences. 

 

If you invest in solar, it’s fairly normal that the ROI your installer shows on your quote is the ROI you’ll get. And with Paradise Energy’s Triple Ten Guarantee, it’s even safer. However, the average ROI for stocks is rarely ever what you’ll earn. Annual returns from 1998 to 2017 ranged from -38.49% to 29.6%. While 29.6% is a great investment, a -38.49% investment is pretty scary.

 

 

Break-Even Point for Solar Panels

Average Payback for Farm’s Solar Panels: 8.1 Years

Average Payback for Business’s Solar Panels: 8.2 Years

 

Depending on your electricity costs, the installation cost, which state and local incentives are available to you, and how much your system produces, your PV system will have generated enough free electricity to have paid for all its materials and labor. Once you reach that point, everything you save on your energy bills goes right to your bottom line for the remainder of the system’s life.

 

Many estimate the useful life of the system at 30+ years, which is backed by a 25-year performance warranty by most solar panel manufacturers. That means that you’ll have decades left of solar’s financial benefits and truly free electricity.

 

Blog Post: 4 Ways To Tell If Solar Is Right For You

 

 

Discover Your Own ROI and Payback

If you’re interested in solar energy, take the first step today and request your free, no-obligation quote. The request takes less than a minute, and you’ll be on your way to saving on energy for 30+ years.

 

solar roi payback get quote

Sara Gambone

Sara is a Marketing Specialist at Paradise Energy Solutions, working from our corporate headquarters in Paradise, PA.

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