30kWp and 50kWp solar systems in the UK: Pricing and output

by Solar Selections on December 19, 2012

30kWp solar panel array on a poultry farm

This article is an overview of the price ranges and typical power outputs of 30kWp and 50kWp solar systems in the UK. 30kWp and 50kWp solar systems are both fairly common sizes to have installed as solar farms and for commercial premises.

30kWp and 50kWp: Typical pricing

Solar panel system prices have dropped significantly since 2010 for a number of reasons, including the introduction of a feed-in tariff in the UK and the increased competition that it engendered in the UK’s solar market, as well as the falling cost of components–namely solar panels and inverters–from China.

At approximately £1.15/watt, 30kWp solar system of decent quality can be found for around £34,500–under half of what it would have been last just a year ago. Similarly, at £1.1/watt, 50kWp solar system would cost in the range of £55,000. As a general rule, although the cost of components tends to be less with larger sized systems such as these thanks to economies of scale, other design and installation factors as well as government red red tape generally make up the difference.

As with any electronic device, price ranges up and down depending on the quality of the components. Higher quality parts will tend to demand a premium, whereas entry-level components will be cheaper.

Solar Selections helps our customers to tell the difference between pricier and less expensive solar systems by offering free impartial advice and quote comparisons for residential and commercial installations across the UK. Read more about what we do.

30kWp and 50kWp solar systems: Power output

Power output is the main determinant in how a solar PV system can be of financial benefit to its owner. In the end, the output of any given system will depend on the following factors:

-Latitude and climate–systems in areas with more inclement weather will still function but may not produce as much power.

-Solar panel tilt angle and orientation.

-The presence or absence of shade on the solar panels.

-Operating temperature of the solar panels–As is the case with most electronics, solar panels prefer to be cool, and overheating hinders performance

-How closely solar panel array capacity is matched to inverter capacity.

-The quality and reliability of the components used.

In a best case scenario, where all of the the above conditions are ideal, the most important factor is then how much sunshine actually falls on the solar panels. Generally speaking, a typical solar PV system in the UK can be expected to produce 2.35 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power per day on average throughout the year. A system will produce more power in the summer, when the sun is shining, and less in winter when the sun is lower on the horizon and there tend to be more rain and clouds.

A typical 30kWp system will yield approximately:
- 2.35 x 30 = 70.5kWh on an average day

- 70.5kWh x 365 = 25,732kWh per annum.

A typical 50kWp solar system will yield approximately:

-2.35 x 50 = 117.5kWh


-117.5 x 365 = 42,887kWh per annum.

30kWp and 50kWp solar systems: Indicative return on investment

The financial returns for any solar system will depend greatly on the feed-in tariff rate available to the owner when the system is installed. System owners receive credit on their electricity bills for 1) each kWh that their system has generated over the billing period plus 2) each kWh of power that they export to the electrical grid. System owners will also see an overall reduction in their power bills if they are ‘self-consuming’ the solar power as it is being produced–i.e., when the sun is shining.

With the feed-in tariff and electricity prices at their current rates, a newly installed system could pay itself off in less than 7 years. A 30kWp solar system could offer an initial annual benefit of over £6,000 if conditions are right and much of the power is consumed on the spot–as it often is with systems of this size, which are generally employed by businesses. This benefit will increase gradually over the years as the price of electricity rises and the argument becomes more and more compelling to use power directly from the system rather than purchase it from the grid. A 50kWp solar system could offer a benefit of over £10,000 in the first year. This too would increase as the years go on.

Poultry farm: Tender managed by Solar Selections

Solar panels on a poultry farm whose tender was managed by Solar Selections. The electricity loads for farms of this size are typically well matched to the output of 30kWp and 50kWp solar systems.

Solar Choice has helped a number of farms go solar, including multiple poultry farms across the UK. If you’re interested in installing a system, contact our friendly and knowledgeable staff for a free and impartial consultation and a comparison of quotes from the installers who operate in your area. Fill out the form to the right of this page to initiate a dialogue, or ring us or email us.


Phone: 020 7205 2267

© 2012 Solar Selections Ltd

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