What is the Cost of a 90 kW Solar System?

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Installing a large, commercial-scale solar panel system like a 90 kW system is a major investment, but one that can pay off in the long run through decades of free solar energy. This article provides a comprehensive cost breakdown for a 90 kW solar system, including hardware components, soft costs like permitting and installation, total system prices, and key factors that influence pricing. Read on for a detailed financial analysis and technical guidance to determine if a 90 kW solar system is right for your property.

Introduction to 90 kW Solar Systems

For large commercial facilities, industrial sites, and agricultural operations with ample roof or land space, installing a high-capacity solar array in the 80 to 100 kW range can significantly offset electricity usage. A 90 kW solar system requires about 250 to 360 high-efficiency solar panels, with individual panels rated from 250W to 360W each. This scales up to meet the 90 kW total system size, which is capable of producing around 10,100 kWh per month.

With robust energy output capabilities, a 90 kW solar system allows organizations to take control over electricity costs, hedge against utility rate hikes, and power their operations sustainably through renewable solar energy. Solar panels have lifetimes over 25 years, meaning the system can provide free, clean energy for decades after being installed.

Cost Breakdown of a 90 kW Solar System

The total installed cost of a 90 kW solar system ranges widely, from around $103,500 on the affordable end using less expensive components to $157,500 on the high-end with premium equipment. The main costs fall under hardware like solar panels and inverters as well as “soft costs” like system design, permits, installation labor, and monitoring software.

90 kW Solar System Hardware Costs

The solar panels represent around 50% of the total hardware costs for a solar system. For a 90 kW system, about 300 panels are needed, with a power output of 300W each. Commercial solar panels cost roughly $1.10 to $1.90 per Watt, so for 300W panels the cost is $330 to $570 per panel. With 300 total panels, the panel system costs between $99,000 and $171,000.

Beyond solar panels, other hardware includes:

  • Inverters – Convert solar energy into usable AC electricity for your building’s electrical system. Central string inverters are most affordable, while microinverters dedicated to each panel offer optimization but cost more upfront.
  • Mounting System – Sturdy aluminum and galvanized steel racks securely mount panels on rooftops or ground installations.
  • Wiring and Cables – Copper wiring to connect panels through combiner boxes leading back to the inverters and electrical panels.

Factoring in these components, the total hardware costs make up around 75% of the overall system price.

Soft Costs of a 90 kW Solar System

While hardware represents the physical solar system itself, there are also “soft costs” related to the design, permitting, installation, and monitoring of the system. These expenses include:

  • System Design – An experienced solar installer sizes the system specifically for your building’s space and electricity usage needs.
  • Permits & Inspections – Local permitting, fees, and inspections to ensure compliance with building codes. Costs depend on local jurisdiction.
  • Installation Labor – The physical installation of the solar system including panel mounting, wiring, and connections.
  • Monitoring – Software to monitor real-time solar production and track system performance.

Altogether soft costs account for around 25% of the total installed price.

Total 90 kW Solar System Cost

Given these cost components, a complete 90 kW solar system ranges from around $103,500 on the affordable end to $157,500 on the high end. This depends largely on the type of equipment selected:

Lower-End System Cost

  • 300W Chinese-made solar panels
  • Central string inverter system
  • Basic racking and wiring
  • Total: Around $103,500

Higher-End System Cost

  • High-efficiency 360W Tier 1 panels
  • Premium microinverters
  • Robust mounting equipment
  • Total: Around $157,500

In most cases, an average mid-range pricing around $130,000 represents a balanced and high-value solar installation.

What Influences 90 kW Solar System Pricing?

While quoting solar installations can get quite complex, some key factors impact the final price:

  • Equipment Tier & Efficiency – Top-of-the-line Tier 1 solar panels with higher wattages cost more upfront but produce more energy over time. Inverters also impact pricing.
  • Installation Complexity – Simple, open rooftop installations are most affordable, while challenging installs like uneven surfaces or customized mounts raise costs.
  • Location & Local Factors – Permitting costs, utility rates, and state/federal incentives vary greatly by location and policy, influencing system pricing.

Understanding these cost factors allows buyers to prioritize their needs and balance upfront system costs with long-term power production.

Financial Analysis of a 90 kW Solar System

While the $100,000+ price tag of a 90 kW solar system may seem daunting at first, the long-term financials make solar a wise investment:

Monthly Finance Payments

  • 25-year solar loan or PPA agreement = $3,182 to $4,837 per month
  • Lower than monthly utility bills in many cases

Payback Period

  • 5-7 years with federal tax credits and accelerated depreciation
  • Yields decades of free electricity after payback period

Offset Electricity Bill

  • Replace $8,000+ per month in electricity purchases
  • Additional savings from solar renewable energy credits (SRECs)

Properly sizing your solar array to match your organization’s monthly energy usage makes it possible to zero out your utility bill entirely. This yields substantial and immediate savings. Solar systems also qualify for federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), accelerated depreciation, and other local incentives that improve the return on investment.

Sizing and Technical Considerations

Installing a solar system as large as 90 kW takes considerable space and in-depth electrical planning. Key considerations include:

Space Required

  • Around 426 square meters for 300 x 300W panels
  • South-facing rooftop or open ground installation site

Electrical Output

  • 10,100 kWh per month energy production
  • Offset a $8,000+ monthly commercial electricity bill


  • Large commercial buildings
  • Industrial facilities
  • Agricultural operations
  • Multi-unit housing complexes

A reputable solar installer performs a site audit and full structural engineering analysis to determine if your property can support a 90 kW system. They also assess your electricity usage to size the system to match your facility’s needs. This ensures maximum savings over time.

Conclusion – Is a 90 kW Solar System Right for You?

While carrying a substantial upfront investment, a properly designed 90 kW solar system yields decades of free electricity alongside considerable utility savings. As solar panel costs continue to fall, federal tax credits phase down, and electricity rates rise, now is an opportune time to explore onsite solar generation.

To determine if a 90 kW or similar-sized high capacity solar installation makes sense for your commercial property, contact Solar Exporters for an initial consultation and free quote. Our team of experts can assess your site needs, energy usage, and local policy landscape to provide sound recommendations. We also offer flexible financing options to eliminate upfront capital barriers.

Investing in an appropriately-sized solar system locks in affordable, sustainable power for decades while insulating your organization against volatile utility costs. Take control of your business’s energy future by going solar!

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