Ohio Solar Power Facts in 2022

Ohio Solar Program

The Buckeye state boasts 173 sunny days a year. Although this is a bit below the national average, installing solar panels in Ohio pays off for old and new homeowners. Renewable resources are the future energy source, and significant solar rebates allow you to get a step closer to lower electricity bills and an energy-independent future in this state. 

If you would like to install solar panels, and do so below average cost, read on and find out everything you need to know about Ohio solar power. A solar panel installation can be as small or as big as you like. What matters is that it produces enough energy to satisfy your yearly demand. Energy independence is steps away, whatever your utility bill and energy usage may be. 

Ohio Solar Energy Data

The Buckeye state currently ranks 23rd in the USA by solar power generation. With almost 800 MW of solar panels, it can produce 0.49% of its electricity needs from solar energy. Renewables produced 3% of OH electricity supply in 2020, but Federal Incentives and Ohio solar efforts are likely to push this number up. 

400MW of new solar installations are expected to come online in the upcoming years, increasing the total solar capacity by around 50%. This will also reduce Ohio’s carbon footprint and ensure that the solar energy system produces more energy year after year. Solar Companies in the state work hard to make sure your solar panels can generate power for your entire household. 

Currently, OH ranks 23rd among US states by solar energy production. There is a lot of room to grow and expand their solar systems, so every new solar installation that comes online helps this state rank better than other states. Solar electricity is a commodity that is cheaper to produce than energy from coal and natural gas. It only competes with wind power in how cheap it is to produce. 

More than 9,000 solar installations in the state can produce enough energy to supply electricity to over 95,000 Ohio homes. Clean energy is fed into the electric grid by both utility-scale solar and residential solar systems. The number of installations keeps growing, so it is no wonder that rooftop solar panels are not an uncommon sight in the state anymore. 

The solar industry in OH is supported by some 250 solar companies in the state. One hundred one of these manufacturers produce larger solar panels, mounting systems, and other structures necessary for safely installing solar energy systems. Other 75 companies are solar installers, who install solar panels on your rooftop and connect them to the solar inverter, your electricity lines, and the electricity grid. 

Thanks to these guys, your utility companies can always work safely and track how much excess electricity you feed into the utility grid. At night, you can take this energy back and save money even when there is no sunshine. 

An average Ohio homeowner can expect to pay between $12,600 and $17,000 for a 5kW solar installation. This solar system can produce enough energy to offset at least 65% of your energy needs and decrease your effective electricity rates. The energy that panels produce can run anything from small home appliances to charging your EV. 

Your solar costs are then heavily subsidized by generous rebate programs, bringing down the payback period to 9.5-13 years. After this time, you can expect to save even more, as an average Ohio resident can save between $17,200 – $23,300 over 20 years. The savings depend on your energy needs and the generation rate, so make sure to contact your utility company or future solar installer to find out exactly how many panels you need. 

Ohio Solar Statistics

DescriptionStatus
Ohio National Ranking23rd
Solar Panels Installed(MW)797.2 MW
Can Supply Power to: (No. of Homes)+95,200
% of State's Electricity from Solar0.49%
Solar Companies in the State250 (101 Manufacturers, 75 Installers/Developers, 74 Others)
Solar Jobs Created6,532
Total Solar Investment in the State$1.3 Billion
Out of Pocket Cost for a 5kWh system$12,600 - $17,000
Net 20-year savings$17,200 - $23,300
Average Payback Period9.5 - 13 years
Electricity Bill Offset for a 5kWh system+ 65%
Number of Solar Installations+ 9,000

Source: Ohio Solar | SEIA 

Notable Solar Installations in Ohio

The majority of the 9,000 + solar installations in Ohio are residential rooftop solar panels. Solar panels work hard to deliver enough electricity for OH residents, but the biggest part of the load falls on large-scale or utility-scale solar system installations. For a better idea of how OH ranks, compare this information to solar panels in Maryland and solar panels in Arizona. There are several such solar power installations in Ohio: 

Wyandot Solar Facility 

Wyandot Solar Facility in Upper Sandusky boasts a 10MW solar capacity. This much solar energy can run more than 1,100 Buckeye residences. 

HMW Minister PV I

HMW Minister PV I has 3 MW of solar panel capacity installed. It can power as many as 350 households. It was completed in 2016. 

Assurant

Assurant has installed 1.76 MW of solar panels over rooftops and parking plazas to mark Earth day. This is a very smart and powerful move towards carbon footprint reduction. This solar panel installation is the equivalent of planting 33,000 trees. It can produce 1,900,000 kWh of electricity per year. 

Campbell’s Soup

Campbell’s soup has entered the energy market in OH by making a 9.8 MW PV solar farm in Napoleon, Ohio. The electric plant can power as many as 1,050 Ohio households. 

Cincinnati Parks 

Under the Cincinnati Electric Aggregation Program, this city has undertaken the construction of a 100 MW solar system that will reduce annual carbon emissions by 150,000 tons and run all the municipality buildings. The system will send the excess energy to the residents of the city. This project is enough to power 11,000 Cincinnati homes from renewable sources and is a great investment since it gives back to the community. 

Future Solar Developments in Ohio

Over 20 future solar projects are planned in Ohio. Their total solar capacity is 4,000 MW of solar power. This should increase the total solar energy production in the Buckeye state by over 5-fold and ensure that the solar panel system contributes more power to the energy grid than ever. 

One of the challenges of expanding the solar system capacity in the Buckeye state is that the market is really hot. Recent developments and weather extremes increased the demand for solar power installations so that the market is really hot. Furthermore, the stabilizing period after lockdowns also means that the production and distribution are slower than they were just a year ago. 

The manufacturers work hard to keep up with the demand, but the backlog in ports and other points in the supply chain slows down the delivery and increases wait times. According to some, 2022 will see 50 TW of solar power installed less than the predictions said. Ohio solar panels, however, are expected to keep expanding since most future projects are informal stages of project development. 

Is it Worth it to Buy Solar Panels in Ohio?

Yes, it is worth it to buy solar panels in Ohio. Any solar system, however small or large, will reduce your power bill and have a solar panel array on your rooftop, coupled with battery storage or a smart meter with a net metering program will easily turn your panels into money savers. 

A simple 5 kW solar system will easily wipe away 65% of your energy consumption from your energy bill, and the more solar panels you have, the more electricity you use will be renewable. Solar is becoming so popular that even the Amish community is turning to it: a single solar panel can cover most of their needs for lighting and running sparse home appliances. Net excess generation is stored in battery storage and used when it is needed. 

Average Cost of Solar Energy Systems

Average solar system cost in Ohio has experienced a significant decrease in recent years. In the past five years, the cost of solar power systems has dropped by almost 45%. In the light of this information, solar systems have never been cheaper, and an average Buckeye resident can expect some good news: the price per Watt of installed DC power is as low as $2.76. The bigger the system, the lower the costs. 

This means that a 10 kW system will likely cost around $27,600. This solar system is eligible for many rebates and programs that shorten the payback period and decrease your power bill. If you decide to couple your solar panels with battery storage, you can even go off-grid. 

However, many choose to bypass the costly solar batteries and rather join net metering programs offered in almost all USA states. The state law dictates that utilities have to provide one form or another of net metering and enable household owners to enjoy the benefits that a solar system can bring at lower costs. 

Solar Panel Energy Production in Ohio

The beginnings of the solar revolution in Ohio are dated back to 2008. The earliest available data goes to show that solar power in OH had around 1.4 MW of solar capacity back then. Rewind to 2010, and you can see 20.7 MW – lower prices and the state legislature (such as the Renewable Portfolio Standard) made utilities invest more into renewables. 

Just five years later, in 2015, the total solar system capacity in OH increased to 113 MW of solar power. This number rose to include an additional 390 MW of solar capacity so that in 2020, solar power in Ohio could boast 503.5 MW of total solar. As new solar projects came online, the number rose even further, so that now 797.2 MW of solar power can be produced in the state. 

Ohio Solar Incentives, Rebates, and Tax Credits

Although there are no state-wide incentives and solar rebates, if you decide to use solar energy to power your home, there are ways to decrease the cost of your solar power. Solar systems’ costs are at the historical minimum, and many renewable companies compete to offer a cheaper and better service. 

The rule of thumb when going for solar energy is always to get at least three solar quotes. This can offer you a range of prices that you can choose from. Your solar panel installation does not have to come at a premium, as the systems themselves can cost as much as a years’ worth of rent, depending on your area. Many solar companies work with multiple solar panel systems, so being aware of the brands and their quality can also help. 

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) 

SRECs are the best way to ensure that the energy you purchase from your utility company is green power. By the same rule, your utility company can also give you SRECs for every Megawatt of solar energy you produce. This way, as you generate power, you also generate SRECs. 

An average 5 kW system will generate around 7.3 SRECs which you can then sell to those who rely on fossil fuels for power generation. Your utility independence can also put some money in your pocket. Always check the availability of SREC selling platforms in your state. 

State Interest Rate Reductions 

As many homeowners use solar loans for their solar investment, it is useful to know that the state of OH can return up to 3% of your total interest rate. This is done under the Energy Conservation for Ohioans (ECO-Link) Program. Your local bank or solar company can help you determine what option is the best for you. 

If you take out a 6.99% interest solar loan from a home equity line of credits, you can enjoy a much lower, 3.99% interest rate for up to seven years. When going solar, it is best to use a solar calculator or hire an expert in the field to determine your exact expenditure and bring down your solar costs. Various factors influence the size and the cost of solar panels in Ohio, so working with experts will ensure you stay on track. 

Ohio Net-Metering 

OH net metering can lower your utility bill by lowering your energy usage. Under this program, your grid operator takes over all the electricity you cannot spend right away and awards you credits for later use. You can use this balance during cloudy days, nights, and even during winter, and your solar panel system will take care that you always pay the lowest price. 

The Federal Solar Tax Credit (Federal ITC)

The Federal ITC enables you to retrieve up to 26% of your total solar system cost by applying for this kind of solar rebate. The 26% of the total costs are not payable, but you will rather get a tax credit on the same amount. This credit can lower your federal tax owed, or it will be given to you in the form of a tax return if your taxes are withheld from your paycheck. 

In any case, the Federal ITC reduces the average cost of your solar panel array. Whatever credits you do not use right away can be rolled over for up to 10 years. Combined with other incentives available in Ohio, this can significantly decrease your initial expenses and provide an energy-independent future. 

DescriptionEquivalent Cost
The Cost of PV - 10kWh at an average of $2.76 per Watt of Solar Installed$27,600
The Federal Solar Tax Credit @26% by the end of 2022$7,176
Solar Loan Interest subsidies @3% on a $30,000 loan X 7 years maximum$6,300
Net-Metering Savings per year$1,297.8
TOTAL system cost for a 10kWh home solar system at the end of year 1$12,827
Years before a 10kWh system pays off if all Ohio solar incentives are taken 9.88 years

Top Solar Companies in Ohio 

There are over 250 solar companies in Ohio. 75 of those are installers, so to help you find the best solar company in your area, here is a list of the top 10 solar installers in Ohio: 

  1. Solar Power and Light, Miamisburg
  2. Ohio Power Solutions, London
  3. YellowLite, Powell
  4. Rocknoll Energy, Morrow
  5. Ecohouse Solar, Columbus
  6. Solar is Freedom, Amelia
  7. Power Up Renewable Energy, Worthington
  8. Rucker Solar Power, Cincinnati, 
  9. REpower SOLUTIONS, Cleveland, and
  10. Power Source Energy Management, Mason. 

FAQs

Can you really get free solar panels?

Yes, under solar lease or solar PPA contracts, you can get free solar panels. You do not own them, but the solar company installs them on your rooftop. You use the energy produced by the solar panels and pay for it, just as you would with energy coming from the utility power grid. There are no completely free solar panels. 

Can I write off my solar panels?

In Ohio, you can use the Federal ITC program to write off as much as 26% of the cost of your solar investment and get that amount back as a tax credit. Net excess generation can also help you some extra cash, and selling SRECs can add a few bucks here and there. 

Is solar worth getting?

Yes, solar is worth getting. Even a small, 5kW system will be able to offset at least 65 % of your energy bill, and you will be able to enjoy free power for at least several years after the system has paid off. The average cost of Ohio solar panels has been on the decline for the past decade, so the price you’ll pay now is the lowest ever. 

Does Ohio offer a solar tax credit?

Ohio does not offer a solar tax credit. There are, however, significant solar incentives in the form of the Energy Conservation for Ohioans (ECO-Link) Program, net-metering, and SRECs that you can sell for extra cash. All these can reduce the cost of your residential PV system by more than 30%. 

Conclusion

Renewable energy in OH is on the rise. Solar panel systems can be seen on more rooftops as significant federal rebates kick in to take over more than a quarter of the expenses of installing solar panels in Ohio. The utility grid and utility companies support net metering policies and ensure that every OH household benefits from the green revolution. If you would like to enjoy the benefits outlined here, contact the nearest solar installer and reduce your electricity rates once and for all. 

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