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Are solar panels worth it? Here are the cash flow diagrams that show what you can get.

In this article I, Rickey Sipila, the owner of Sisu Solar, will go over the frequently asked questions and financial arguments of owning solar in Minnesota. No sugar coating, just the plain estimates!


The short answer to are solar panels worth it is simply yes, yes they are 100%. But of course there are limitations that prevent everyone from getting solar, so let me further specify:

solar is worth it if you:

  1. Have a south, west, or east facing roof surface that has at least 500 square feet of surface area on it. OR have unshaded open land that a ground-mounted solar system can go on

  2. Own the property that you want solar to be on

  3. Pay income taxes


Let's take a deep dive and focus on the financial side of solar.


Here are the really generic costs for overall systems that Sisu Solar will install in 2023:


A small solar PV system (5kW) will have a net cost of $12,950

An average solar PV system (10kW) will cost $21,000

A large solar PV system (20kW) will cost $37,800

The biggest residential solar PV system you can get (40kW) will cost $63,000


Depending on how your solar panels are positioned and your electrical utility, the return on your investment can widely range, but on average, these are the financial investment returns on each of these systems:


The small 5kW system will have a 14 year payback period

The average 10kW system will have a 12 year payback period

The large 20kW system will have a 10 year payback period

The biggest 40kW system will have a 9 year payback period


These solar PV systems will then last 30+ years passively saving you more and more electricity costs as time goes on. Also the value of your home will increase too!


Now if you cannot afford a system but you still have a really nice house that could use them, you can always get a solar loan! I always direct people to the Minnesota Center for Energy and the Environment. (https://www.mncee.org/solar) They can give you a loan for less than 5.5% APR so you do not have to pay anything upfront, but rather do it all in monthly payments and the important thing is you will still OWN your solar panels.


Below I’ve attached some cash flow charts that show what all of these options look like!

Thanks for reading

-Rickey Sipila









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