Alaska Goes Solar with SunPower®
Solar energy should be the first choice for The Last Frontier
The state of solar in Alaska
While U.S. states receive an average of 205 sun-filled days per year, Alaska’s sunshine rate falls below that with a mere 121 sunny days each year.* However, 76% of all rooftops in this state can access clean energy via solar panels, each one receiving about 75% of the maximum amount of sunlight yearly.*
How much solar energy does Alaska produce?
The Last Frontier has a low national ranking of 48 out of 50 when it comes to the quantity of clean energy it currently produces. Only 0.13% of the state’s electricity has gone solar, averaging 1,496 homes in total, with only nine companies to provide installations.*
- *. Source: SEIA, Alaska Solar (July 2021)
What are the advantages of going solar in Alaska?
Going solar has its environmental perks. Looking specifically at Alaska, the EIA reports that, despite Alaska's high latitudes and long dark days of winter, solar energy can play a significant role in remote, off-grid locations. These solar photovoltaic panels generate electricity on a small scale throughout the state, mostly at residential sites.
Such small-scale systems produced 4,000 mWh of electricity in 2019, accounting for 0.2% of the state's total renewable generation, but this number increased to 7000 mWh by late 2020. Alaska's largest solar farm (as of late 2018) included nearly 1,800 solar panels producing 563 kW south of Fairbanks.
The advantages of solar power also extend to your wallet since the prices of solar installations have dropped 43% within the past five years, making now the best time to convert your home to solar power. Going solar in Alaska—which has one of the highest electricity expenses in the country—will diminish the amount of electricity buy from your power company.
How much does solar cost in Alaska?
The cost of a home solar system can vary, even in the same state, due to a range of factors. These include:
Quality of the solar panels
Quality of the system’s warranty
To help you understand the price of going solar in your area, we've analyzed SunPower price quotes, as well as quotes gathered by third-party sources for thousands of homeowners across the country.
In Alaska, we found that the average investment to own a 5 kW solar system is $14,000, or $2.80 per watt, and that's before considering the benefits of any available tax credits or incentives.
Although Alaska’s natural resources (such as oil and coal) are thriving, many programs allow Alaskans to gain easier access to solar energy savings—even in winter months when Southern Alaska sees less than six hours of sunlight and Northern Alaska a mere few hours per day.
These tax credits and incentives* include:
The federal solar tax credit: Homeowners who purchase their system as opposed to leasing it, can get a tax credit of up to 26% of the total cost of the solar installation.*
Net energy metering: Net metering agreements have been approved by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska in 2009 and implemented by the state. With this agreement, when your solar panels produce more electricity than you use, the excess energy goes to your utility company’s grid. In return, you’ll receive a retail rate credit.*
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program (EECLP) and the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA)’s Renewable Energy Fund (REF) are available to assist Alaskans with loans to purchase their solar systems.
- *. Source: Clean Energy Authority, Alaska Solar Rebates and Incentives (July 2021)
- *. Tax credits and incentives are subject to change. Visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
- *. The availability of net metering varies by location and is subject to change. Visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
What is the best way to go solar in Alaska?
Before going solar, be sure to keep in mind factors that will affect the output of clean energy to your home. For instance, flat roofs generate the most energy yearly, almost tripling the energy that south-facing roofs in Alaska produce. North-facing roofs produce the least.
When you’ve decided to go solar, be sure to call on a licensed solar installer with experience helping home and business owners get the ideal solar solutions for their buildings. Get estimates and talk to their references.
With each, be sure to arrange for a consultation and design that can meet your budget and assess your property and energy needs. If you install premium quality solar systems from reputable companies, they should stand the test of time. Your solar system should boost your property value and enhance its aesthetic style. Any reputable solar energy company should also help you access every available solar incentive and rebate to help you reduce installation costs.
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