How Much Does It Cost to Install Solar Panels in Michigan?

Average range: $15,540 - $20,580
Low
$5,180
Average Cost
$18,060
High
$52,000
(6kW system using monocrystalline panels installed on the roof)

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Reviewed by Cristina Miguelez. Written by Fixr.com.

If you live in Michigan, you have likely seen a big increase in the number of residences who have opted for solar power. Michigan ranks 26th in solar energy within the U.S. and is one of the fastest growing solar industries. While Michigan sees an average of 170 sunny days per year, the state sees enough sunlight to make solar energy viable for residents, particularly since its electricity rate is well above the national average. Many residents need ways to reduce their energy bills with extremely cold winters and warm summers, making solar an attractive option.

The state average cost to install solar panels in Michigan is $15,540 to $20,580, with most residents paying around $18,060 for a 6kW system using monocrystalline panels installed on the roof. This project’s low cost is $5,180 for a 2kW system using thin film panels installed on the roof. The high cost is $52,000 for a 10kW system with battery backup using monocrystalline panels mounted on an array.

Cost to Install Solar Panels in Michigan

Cost of Solar Panels in Michigan
National average cost$18,060
Average range$15,540-$20,580
Low-end$5,180
High-end$52,000

Solar Panel Installation in Michigan Cost by Project Range

Low
$5,180
2kW system using thin film panels installed on the roof
Average Cost
$18,060
6kW system using monocrystalline panels installed on the roof
High
$52,000
10kW system using battery backup with monocrystalline panels mounted on an array

Cost of Solar Panels in Michigan by Type

There are two different ways you can install solar panels in Michigan. The first method is a grid-tied system and the most common way to install solar panels in the state. This means you remain connected to the state’s power grid and only use it at night or during times when the sun’s power is not strong enough to run your home.

The second method is known as an off-grid system. In this system, you disconnect fully from the state’s power grid, and rely on your own power. Going off-grid is legal in Michigan but may be subject to local laws and zoning, so check with your local municipality to find out if you need to take additional steps before installing this system.

Off-grid systems are much larger than grid-tied systems and use a full complement of batteries to power your home at night and during inclement weather. It is also recommended that with an off-grid system, you have another backup energy source like a generator or windmill to generate electricity in times of prolonged inclement weather when the sun may not be as strong.

Off-grid systems are more costly because they are typically larger than grid-tied systems. Below are the average costs to install both systems in Michigan.

Cost to Install a Grid-Tied and Off-Grid Solar Panel System in Michigan

Cost to Install a Grid-Tied and Off-Grid Solar Panel System in Michigan

TypeAverage Cost (Installed)
Grid-Tied$15,540 - $20,580
Off-Grid$45,000 - $75,000

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Solar Panel Cost per Watt in Michigan

Solar panels in Michigan are typically sold and installed by the watt, with each panel typically having between 250 and 400 watts each. The cost of solar panels in Michigan ranges from $2.59 to $3.43, depending on the type of panel and system. Several things can impact this cost, from how the panels are mounted to the panel type. For example, roof mounting your panels generally has lower costs than mounting your panels on an array. The cost of labor in your area may also dictate the final cost, with urban areas usually having higher costs than more rural areas. Below are the average costs associated with differently sized installations and the average number of panels you need for a project of that size.

Panels Needed and Cost to Install a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15, and 18 kW Solar Panel System in Michigan

Panels Needed and Cost to Install a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15, and 18 kW Solar Panel System in Michigan

System SizePanels NeededAverage Cost (Installed)
2 kW5 - 8$5,180 - $6,860
3 kW8 - 12$7,770 - $10,290
4 kW10 - 16$10,360 - $13,720
5 kW13 - 20$12,950 - $17,150
6 kW15 - 24$15,540 - $20,580
7 kW18 - 28$18,130 - $24,010
8 kW20 - 32$20,720 - $27,440
10 kW25 - 40$25,900 - $34,300
12 kW30 - 48$31,080 - $41,160
15 kW38 - 60$38,850 - $51,450
18 kW45 - 72$46,620 - $61,740

Average Cost of Solar Panels in Michigan per Square Foot

Your home size can impact the cost of your solar panel installation. Typically, larger homes have higher energy needs, meaning they likely need a larger system than smaller homes. However, there can be some overlap between different home sizes. You can have a smaller home with higher-than-average energy needs or a larger home with lower-than-average energy needs.

You may also install a system to offset a portion of your energy costs, such as a solar panel system that only runs your HVAC system. You can also get an oversized system that runs your entire home plus room to expand in the future. This can lead to a wide range of costs regardless of the home size. Below are the average costs to install solar panel systems based on the average home size.

Cost to Install a Solar Panel System for a 1,000, 1,500, 2,000, and 2,500 Sq.Ft. House in Michigan

Cost to Install a Solar Panel System for a 1,000, 1,500, 2,000, and 2,500 Sq.Ft. House in Michigan

House SizeAverage Cost (Installed)
1,000 sq.ft.$5,180 - $27,440
1,500 sq.ft.$6,860 - $31,080
2,000 sq.ft.$10,360 - $34,300
2,500 sq.ft.$15,540 - $41,160

Cost of Solar Panels in Michigan by Cell Type

Solar panels are available in three basic cell types - monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin film. Of the three, monocrystalline and thin film are the most common in Michigan. Monocrystalline panels are made with whole silicone crystals. These panels are the most efficient and generate the most energy. They have a sleek black finish and a mid profile. They do best in direct sunlight and are typically the most costly.

Polycrystalline panels are made of small pieces of silicone crystals. This makes them less expensive than monocrystalline panels but also less efficient. They have a higher profile and a bright blue finish, so they tend to be less subtle than the other types. They also work best in direct sunlight.

Thin-film panels are the lowest profile solar panel. They are lower in cost than monocrystalline panels and work best in cloudy or overcast areas rather than direct sunlight. Because Michigan sees fewer sunny days than the national average, this makes thin-film panels a good choice for many parts of the state. Below is the average cost to install a 6kW system in Michigan using the different types.

Cost to Install Polycrystalline, Thin-Film, and Monocrystalline Solar Panels in Michigan

Cost to Install Polycrystalline, Thin-Film, and Monocrystalline Solar Panels in Michigan

Cell TypeAverage Costs (Installed)
Polycrystalline$14,000 - $18,000
Thin-Film$14,000 - $18,000
Monocrystalline$16,000 - $21,000

Labor Cost to Install Solar Panels in Michigan

Part of the cost to install your solar panels is in the panels themselves. Another part is the labor to install them. Labor rates vary within one state depending on the location, solar panel type, and where you install them. For example, roof installations are easier and less costly than ground-mounted arrays. Labor in highly populated and urban areas tends to be higher than in less-populated areas. The average cost of labor for solar panel installation in Michigan ranges from $0.88 to $1.04 per watt, depending on the location and system type. This includes mounting the system, balancing, and hooking up to your home’s electrical panel. Below are the average costs for labor, depending on the system size.

Labor Cost to Install a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10 kW Solar Panel System in Michigan

Labor Cost to Install a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10 kW Solar Panel System in Michigan

System SizeAverage Labor Costs
2 kW$1,760 - $2,080
3 kW$2,640 - $3,120
4 kW$3,520 - $4,160
5 kW$4,400 - $5,200
6 kW$5,280 - $6,240
7 kW$6,160 - $7,280
8 kW$7,040 - $8,320
10 kW$8,800 - $10,400

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Which Direction Should Solar Panels Face in Michigan?

Your solar panels should be installed facing south whenever possible. This gives the best energy production over the day. However, you still get good energy production from the southwest and southeast if your home does not face south and from the east and west in some cases. Speak to your installer about the angle of your roof and how to maximize the most amount of sunlight and energy production for your Michigan home.

Cost to Install Solar Panels in Michigan by Location

Solar panels can be installed in two general areas on your property. The most common is to install the panels on your roof. This takes up the least amount of space on your property and is easy for the installers to hook up to your electrical system.

However, you may want to consider mounting the panels on the ground if your roof is older and cannot hold the solar panels or you have a system that is too large for your roof to hold. In this setup, the panels are installed on an array or a large bracket designed to hold the panels at the correct angle. This has higher costs for the array and labor. The cables must run to your home underground from the array, increasing installation costs. Below are the average costs to install a 6kW system in Michigan on the rooftop and ground.

Cost to Install Solar Panels on the Roof and on the Ground in Michigan

Cost to Install Solar Panels on the Roof and on the Ground in Michigan

System LocationAverage Costs (Installed)
Roof$15,540 - $20,580
Ground$18,750 - $24,580

Michigan Solar Tax Credit

The state of Michigan does not have a tax credit for solar panels. However, residents can take advantage of the Federal tax credit of 26% for 2022. This tax credit allows you to claim 26% of the total cost of your solar panel installation when you file your 2022 taxes. You receive this money back regardless if you owe taxes or not. This credit drops to 22% in 2023.

Solar Inverter Cost by Type

Your solar system also requires inverters to work. Inverters convert the energy from the panel into energy your home can use. You need one inverter for each panel you have installed on your home. Several types are available.

String inverters are one of the most common and least expensive types. These inverters connect in a string, giving them their name. The drawback to this system is that if one inverter or panel goes out, the entire system stops working.

Power optimizers and micro inverters can solve this problem because they do not connect. These systems are more costly than string inverters, but micro inverters typically have lower installation costs.

Power optimizers can help regulate the power your home uses over the day, evening out surges and providing steadier energy.

If you have a battery for your solar panels, you also need a battery inverter for each. Battery inverters convert the energy into something the battery can store for later. Below are the average costs you can expect to pay per inverter.

Cost of a String, Power Optimizer, Micro, and Battery-Based Solar Inverter in Michigan

Cost of a String, Power Optimizer, Micro, and Battery-Based Solar Inverter in Michigan

Inverter TypeAverage Costs (Materials Only)
String Inverter$85 - $105
Power Optimizer$125 - $150
Micro Inverter$125 - $150
Battery-Based$2,000 - $3,000

Cost to Run and Maintain Solar Panels in Michigan

Solar panels do not require much maintenance beyond occasional cleaning and inspections. You may want to invest in snow guards because Michigan sees harsh winters.

Inspections and cleaning should take place at least one a year. During this, your panels are checked to ensure they are functioning normally, and loose wires or other issues are dealt with before they become a problem. This costs $200 to $400 per year in Michigan for a single visit. If you need additional visits, costs reach $400 to $1,200 a year. Installing snow guards on your panels costs around $2 to $3 a linear foot.

Tesla Solar Roof in Michigan Cost

If you have an older roof that needs replacement before you can install solar panels, you may want to consider a Tesla solar roof. This is also a good investment for those who want a more subtle appearance for their roofs because Tesla roofs cover the entire rooftop with standard and photovoltaic tiles.

The cost of a Tesla roof varies tremendously based on the roof’s complexity, percentage of solar tiles versus the standard tiles, and overall size. Tesla roofs require a minimum of one Powerwall battery, increasing the costs by $10,000 per battery installed. This makes the average costs for a Tesla roof in Michigan between $48,000 and $68,000 for a 6kW system on a 2,000 sq.ft home fully installed.

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Solar Water Heater Cost

You can also offset energy costs with a solar water heater. Solar water heaters use the sun’s energy to heat the water you use each day. They have an average cost of $8,000 to $10,000 installed.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Permits. You need a permit to install solar panels on your home. This is usually included in the project cost. Speak to your local municipality for more information.
  • Licenses. Make sure the installers working on your home are fully licensed with the state. Check with your local municipality for more information.
  • Warranties. Solar panels may come with a range of warranties, depending on the type and installation. Ask your installer which warranties may be available to you.
  • HOAs. Some HOAs may have laws governing the installation of solar panels on your roof. If you live in an HOA, speak to the board before beginning installation.
  • Environmental zoning. Some areas may be zoned as environmentally sensitive. If you live in an area that falls under this zoning, you may be subject to more permits and inspections. Speak to your local municipality for more information.
  • Home value. Solar panels can increase the value of your home. In Michigan, the average increase is around 4% in value.

FAQs

  • Is it worth it to go solar in Michigan?

Absolutely! Michigan sees about 170 sunny days a year and has higher-than-average electricity costs, making solar a great investment.

  • How many solar panels does it take to power a house in Michigan?

This varies depending on the home size and electrical needs. The average 6kW installation can use between 15 and 24 panels.

  • Do I need a permit to install solar panels in Michigan?

Yes, you need a permit to install solar panels in Michigan. Speak to your local municipality for more information.

  • Do solar panels work in the winter in Michigan?

They do, but you may want to invest in snow guards and consider panels like thin film that do not require very much direct sunlight.

  • Does Michigan get enough sun for solar panels?

Yes, Michigan sees about 170 sunny days a year, which is enough for solar panel installation.

Cost to install solar panels in Michigan varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources