10kWp solar PV systems in the UK: Prices, power output, and ROI

10kWp solar system ROI, pricing, output

by Solar Selections on October 17, 2012

This article provides an overview of the costs, power output, and return on investment (ROI) associated with 10kWp solar systems in the UK. With solar PV system prices falling, electricity prices rising, and support from the UK’s Solar Feed-in Tariff, now is a great time to invest in a solar PV system.

Prices for 10kWp solar systems in the UK

Solar system prices have fallen dramatically in the past few years, thanks to a number of factors including increased competition between installers and a massive increase in manufacturing of solar panels and inverters globally.

In the UK, the average price of a solar PV system is about £1.40 per watt at the time of writing. The average cost of a 10kWp solar system of decent quality is less than £14,000–under half of what it would have been last just a year ago.

It is of course important to bear in mind that, just like any piece of electrical equipment, quality varies by manufacturer and model. Generally speaking, cheaper products are likely to be lower quality and more expensive ones are likely to offer more in the way of performance and reliability. Solar Selections’ job is to empower our customers to discern the difference between between installers and manufacturers. (Read more about what we do.)

Power output from 10kWp solar systems

A number of factors influence system performance of solar systems. The main ones are:

-Geographical location of the system and the expected daily and annual solar irradiation and cloud cover levels.

-Orientation and tilt angle of the solar panel array.

-Whether there is any shade cast on the panels.

-Operating temperature of the panels (higher temperatures can negatively impact panel output).

-Whether the solar panel array is properly sized to match the inverter capacity.

-The quality of the components used in the installation–i.e. the panels and the inverter.

Provided a solar system is installed in the optimal way possible for its location, the most most influential factor on the system’s output will be the amount of sunshine that falls on it. As a rule of thumb, a system in the UK can be expected to produce on average 2.35 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power for every 1kWp of capacity that is installed. This number will of course be higher in the summer and lower in the winter, and will also depend on daily weather conditions such as clouds and rain.

A typical 10kWp system will yield approximately:
- 2.35 x 10 = 23.5kWh on an average day.
OR
- 23.5kWh x 365 = 8,578kWh per annum.

Indicative financial returns from 10kWp solar systems

The financial returns from a 10kWp solar PV installation are mainly dependent on the Solar Feed-in Tariff rate available to the owner/operator of the system. The UK’s Solar Feed-in Tariff scheme pays solar system owners a premium for each kWh (unit) of power that they generate. Payback depends not only on how much power a system produces, but also how it is used–whether it is ‘self-consumed’ (used by the occupants of the building on which it is installed), or exported to the electricity grid.

Download a 10kWp solar power system ROI Calculator*

How to use the calculator:

1. Download the Solar Selections 10kWp solar system ROI calculator (Excel spreadsheet file)

2. Get in touch with the Solar Selections team to receive a comparison of solar quotes on 10kWp systems: email: sales@solarselections.co.uk, phone: 020 7205 2267, or fill out the Quote Comparison Request form on the right of this page to be entered into our database and to prices for 1.5-5kWp systems

3. Alter the variables in the light blue boxes in the spreadsheet (system size, system price, etc) in column B to reflect your situation and calculate system Return on Investment (ROI)

(You may also open the file in Google Docs if you have a Google account.)

*Calculator outputs are indicative only–please keep in mind that electricity rates and Feed-in Tariff rates may change over time.

10kwp ROI calculator screenshot

Top image via Ensham Parish Council

© 2012 Solar Selections Ltd

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