Alaska Solar Panels
Pricing & Installation Data

Find out if solar panels are right for your home in Alaska.

Solar Panels

Solar Panels in Alaska

Does solar work in Alaska? Alaska offers a unique perspective on solar energy due to the sun’s unique pattern and extreme latitudinal position compared to the rest of the United States.

At the farthest North points, the sun behaves unlike anywhere else in the United States. During summer, Alaska’s daylight hours are prolonged. Regions inside the Arctic Circle experience the 'Midnight Sun’, a period where the sun doesn't set for months. 

Conversely, winter months experience extended periods of darkness, especially in the far north. This phenomenon is the 'polar night'. The unusual cycle of sunlight presents both challenges and opportunities for solar energy exploitation in Alaska.

Despite the challenges and ranking 49th in the nation for solar, Alaska is making significant strides in harnessing solar energy. As of Q2 2023, the state has achieved an installed capacity of 19 MW. 

There is also a projected growth of 45 MW over the next five years. Although the growth is modest, it signals a positive trend.

Cost of Solar in Alaska

The average price for a home solar panel system in Alaska is $15,120 for a 6kW system or about $2.52 per watt. Systems will vary depending on the solar installation company the types of solar panels you choose and the size of your system. When shopping for solar panels you should consider getting multiple quotes from various installers.

Average Cost
6 kW System
Average Cost
10 kW System
Tax Credit
(10 kW System)
Most Costly State(Michigan)$22,680$37,800$11,340$3.78
Least Costly State(Arizona)$14,640$24,400$7,320$2.44

Costs by Solar System Size in Alaska

For most, the ideal solar system size is the sweet spot between price and capacity. The goal is to generate enough electricity to cover your home's demand while keeping overall costs low as possible.

I.E. Get the best bang for your buck.

System SizeSystem CostCost After Federal Tax Credit
5 kW$14,200$8,785
6 kW$17,040$10,542
7 kW$19,880$12,299
8 kW$22,720$14,056
10 kW$28,400$17,570

Pros and Cons of Solar in Alaska

As a homeowner considering solar energy, it's crucial to weigh the pros and cons specific to your situation. Particularly in Alaska where it may be more difficult to compare against the rest of the country. It may be wise to talk with an energy professional.

Factors such as your home's location, energy needs, and financial incentives are all important in determining the viability of installing your own system. 

While solar energy offers numerous advantages, it's important to acknowledge potential challenges to make an informed decision.

Alaska Solar Pros

  • Financial Savings: Significant reduction in electricity bills
  • Environmental Benefits: Reduction in carbon footprint and reliance on fossil fuels
  • Energy Independence: Solar systems reduce dependency on grid power, offering energy autonomy
  • Unique Net Metering Policies: Alaska's net metering policy allows homeowners to offset their electricity costs by feeding excess solar energy back into the grid, effectively storing energy produced in summer for use in winter​​.

Alaska Solar Cons

  • Limited Sunlight in Winter: The reduced number of daylight hours during the winter can significantly impact solar energy production​​.
  • Variable Weather Conditions: Weather conditions like snow and overcast days can affect the efficiency of solar panels.
  • Geographical Variations: Solar viability can vary greatly within the state, with some regions experiencing more favorable conditions than others.
  • Maintenance and Durability: The harsh Alaskan climate may necessitate more frequent maintenance or robust systems to withstand environmental conditions.

EnergyBot's Take

Overall, solar is a viable option but we stress the importance of considering your own personal situation. 

Nonetheless, let’s dive a little deeper.

On the positive side, Alaska's unique geographical location offers long sunny summer days. In regions experiencing the 'Midnight Sun', solar panels can generate electricity continuously, capitalizing on this prolonged sunlight. 

Additionally, the colder Alaskan climate is advantageous for solar panel efficiency. Generally, solar panels perform better in cooler temperatures. Net metering policies and the absence of general sales tax on solar equipment further enhance the attractiveness of solar investments in Alaska. Without their net metering policy, residents wouldn’t be able to capitalize on their solar system in the winter months. 

These incentives, combined with the state's high energy rates, make solar installations a financially viable option for many residents.

If you are on the fence you can use this tool to get an accurate cost breakdown for your home based on your historical energy usage.

Leasing vs Buying Solar Panels in Alaska

There are several ways you can purchase and/or finance your solar panel installation in Alaska. Your goals and financial situation will dictate which option is best for you.

Cash Purchase

The most straightforward option. You pay upfront for the entire cost of the rooftop solar system. No interest, and fewer headaches, but many people are hesitant about spending several tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket.

Solar Loan

The most common method for buying solar systems. Like many other types of large purchases, you can finance your solar system through a bank or solar loan provider.

This sounds great, and many other solar loan salespeople will leverage the low payment to justify the costs. You will likely hear something like "You pay $250 a month on your electric bill, with a solar loan you will pay $200 and have free electricity."

Do your due diligence before you sign on the dotted line. There are many horror stories of variable loan terms, ballooning interest rates, and harsh missed payment penalties.

Solar Lease

Leasing solar panels generally involves less money out of pocket upfront. But, it's important to note - you do not own your solar energy system. You essentially renting the solar system. A solar provider will install the equipment and charge you a fixed monthly fee.

Most solar lease contracts last for a couple of decades, during which time the provider will keep an eye on the system's hardware and performance. At the end of your lease, you can choose to:

  • Renew your lease agreement
  • Purchase the system
  • End your lease agreement

Solar leases can be complicated. Not all are bad, but in many cases the lease terms in not in favor of the buyer. Before you decide on a solar lease make sure to read your contract thoroughly. If you don't understand something, ask an expert.

Power Purchase Agreements

A power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a solar company will design and install a solar system on your home or business with little or no cost upfront. Instead of paying a monthly fee like a lease, the agreement includes a fixed price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity generated.

For example, you agree to pay $0.12 per kWh of electricity generated for the next 20 years. The solar company will install and maintain your system and sell the power back to you that you use. They may also collect payment for any additional energy they put back into the grid.

Just like a lease, you do not own the panels. When the contract is up, they will either be removed or your contract may have other terms for you to buy or renew your power purchase agreement.

Power purchase agreements can be complicated. Before you sign make sure you review the contract and if possible have an expert in power purchase agreements review the details.

Alaska Solar Incentives

In addition to the 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit, you may be eligible for solar incentives that could significantly reduce the cost of solar panel installation. Some incentives are statewide and others are more local. Your city, utility, or other local company could offer hundreds or thousands of dollars in incentives to install solar systems.

This table shows the available incentives in Alaska. But, just because you don't see it here doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Check with your local utility for other potential incentives.

Name State Category Type
Alaska Solar Easements AK Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Access Policy
Power Project Loan Fund AK Financial Incentive Loan Program
Motor Fuel Tax Reduction for Gasohol AK Financial Incentive Sales Tax Incentive
Golden Valley Electric Association - Sustainable Natural Alternative Power (SNAP) Program AK Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
Energy Efficiency Interest Rate Reduction Program AK Financial Incentive Loan Program
Association Loan Program AK Financial Incentive Loan Program
Golden Valley Electric Association - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program for Builders AK Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Golden Valley Electric Association - Commercial Lighting Retrofit Rebate Program AK Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Home Energy Rebate Program AK Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Renewable Energy Grant Program AK Financial Incentive Grant Program
Net Metering AK Regulatory Policy Net Metering
Alaska - Residential Energy-Efficient Appliance Rebate Program AK Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund Program AK Financial Incentive Loan Program
Local Option - Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems AK Financial Incentive Property Tax Incentive
Alternative Energy Conservation Loan Fund AK Financial Incentive Loan Program
test AK Regulatory Policy Appliance/Equipment Efficiency Standards
Weatherization Program AK Financial Incentive Grant Program
Village Energy Efficiency Program AK Financial Incentive Grant Program
New Home Rebate AK Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Alaska Power and Telephone - AMP-UP Program AK Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Chugach Electric - Residential EV Charging Program AK Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Chugach Electric - Commercial EV Charging Program AK Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Chugach Electric - EV Workplace Charging Program AK Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Chugach Electric - EV Hotel Charging Program AK Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Chugach Electric - Fleet EV Charging Program AK Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Alaska - National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Grant Program AK Financial Incentive Grant Program
Tax-Exempt Financing for Green Buildings, Renewable Energy & Brownfield Redevelopment US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Conservation Security Program (CSP) Production Incentive US Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Federal Excise Tax Exemption for Gasohol US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Exemption
Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS) US Financial Incentive Corporate Depreciation
Energy Star Financing and Mortgages US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA Rural Housing Service Loans US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Corporate) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Exemption
Renewable Energy Production Incentive (REPI) US Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Small Business Administration Loan Programs US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Energy-Efficient Mortgages US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs - Funding Opportunities US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Green Power Purchasing Goal for Federal Government US Regulatory Policy Green Power Purchasing
Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Deduction
Energy-Efficient New Homes Tax Credit for Home Builders US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Energy-Efficient Appliance Manufacturing Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Industry Recruitment/Support
Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit
Veterans Housing Guaranteed and Insured Loans US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Federal Appliance Standards US Regulatory Policy Appliance/Equipment Efficiency Standards
Energy Goals and Standards for Federal Agencies US Regulatory Policy Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) US Financial Incentive Loan Program
U.S. Department of Treasury - Renewable Energy Grants US Financial Incentive Grant Program
USDA - High Energy Cost Grant Program US Financial Incentive Grant Program
USDA - Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA - Repowering Assistance Biorefinery Program US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Title I Property Improvement Loans US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance (EA/REDA) Program US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Fannie Mae Green Financing – Loan Program US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Qualified Commercial Clean Vehicle Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Tax Credit (Corporate) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Tax Credit (Personal) US Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit
Previously-Owned Clean Vehicle Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit

Alaska Solar Companies

There are hundreds of solar companies in Alaska. From solar installers to solar loan providers, and manufacturers. Each is a piece of the puzzle to help you get outfitted with solar panels.

To make things simple, EnergyBot works directly with 3 of the largest solar companies to give you a comprehensive view of the market.

The solar companies we partner with:

  • Project Solar - A nationwide provider of solar panel systems that has a non-sales-oriented approach to building your system. They build your system from their central office and send a local company to complete the solar panel installation.
  • EnergySage - The largest online solar installation network. They work with thousands of installers to help you find the perfect solar system for your home. With thousands of successful solar installations, they can give you a range of bids and pricing options.
  • Tesla - Brains behind some of the most cutting-edge technology in the automotive industry, Tesla also offers sleek and powerful solar systems and battery systems.

We believe comparing these three names in the solar industry will give you the info you need to decide if solar panels are right for you.

Before You Install Solar Panels

Just because solar is a popular discussion right now, doesn’t mean it makes sense for everyone. It is still a large and expensive decision. Installing solar has great financial and environmental benefits but it won’t feel beneficial if you run into issues. Along with studying a 20-year cost comparison for your home, read some more tips to keep in mind when mulling over your decision on your installer, system design, and financial plan.

  • What are the long-term savings and payback period for installing a solar panel system?
  • How will installing solar panels impact my home's value?
  • What is the system’s Return on Investment (ROI)?
  • Are there any specific design or aesthetic considerations for solar panel installation?
  • How do I weigh the environmental benefits against the costs of installation?
  • What are the specific terms and conditions for the installer?

The Future of Renewable Energy in the Last Frontier

There is a solar surge happening across the country and Alaska doesn't want to be left behind. Their growth is highlighted by the recent completion of the state's largest solar farm, the 8.5-megawatt Houston Solar Farm. 

This expansive project, featuring 14,000 solar panels over an area equivalent to 34 football fields, marks a pivotal moment in Alaska's renewable energy journey. Located near Houston High School, on a site impacted by the 1996 Miller’s Reach fire, the farm is poised to nearly double Alaska's solar output and provide enough energy to power approximately 1,400 homes. The Houston Solar Farm, a product of Renewable IPP, stands out for its advanced bifacial panels that absorb sunlight from above and reflected light from the snow below, enhancing efficiency.

Beyond the large-scale projects, there is a growing trend of residential solar installations across Southcentral Alaska. Could this be signaling a shift towards renewable energy in anticipation of the dwindling supply of Cook Inlet natural gas? We think so. 

These installations are not only contributing to the state’s energy grid but also empowering homeowners to reduce their energy costs and environmental impact. The Matanuska Electric Association is set to purchase the farm's energy at a rate slightly less than that of natural gas, indicating potential savings and a move towards greater energy independence. 

Why Trust EnergyBot

We have helped thousands of customers find electricity plans for their home or business. And we are pretty darn good at it, with over 1,000 5-Star reviews we know how to help you stay powered up.

Now using the same one-of-kind technology and platform we are helping consumers in Alaska decide if solar is right for them. You will notice that sometimes our numbers make solar look less attractive. That's not by accident. We believe you should have full transparency during the solar purchasing process.

We aren't here to sell you something. We are here to help you make the best energy decision for your home or business.

Alaska Solar FAQs

The cost of solar panel installation in Alaska can vary significantly based on a number of factors, including the size and type of the system, the complexity of the installation, your solar installer, and the specific location. However, the average cost of solar panels in the U.S. was about $3.13 per watt, before any incentives or tax credits.

A typical residential solar system is usually around 8 kilowatts (8,000 watts), but varies based on energy use and the size of the house. The US average cost for a 6 kW system is $18,771 and the US average cost for a 10 kW system is $31,285, before incentives. The average price for a home solar panel system in Alaska is $15,120 for a 6kW system or about or about $2.52 per watt.

The number of solar panels you would need depends on a variety of factors such as:

  1. Your home's energy consumption: The first step is to calculate your household's energy use. You can do this by looking at your electricity bills to see how much electricity you use in a year, usually measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The average U.S. home uses around 10,400 kWh per year, but this can vary widely based on the size of your home, the efficiency of your appliances, and your personal habits.
  2. The amount of sunlight your location receives: This can vary depending on where you live. For example, if you live in a place that has many sunny days like Arizona, you might require fewer solar panels compared to someone living in a place with less sunlight like Seattle.
  3. The efficiency of the solar panels: Not all solar panels are created equal. Some panels can convert sunlight into electricity more efficiently than others. On average, residential solar panels have an efficiency rating between 15-20%. The higher the efficiency, the fewer panels you would likely need to meet your energy needs.
  4. The size of the solar panels: Solar panels also come in different sizes. A common size for residential use is roughly 65 inches by 39 inches. Each panel typically produces around 250 to 400 watts of power, but this can vary.

To give you a rough estimate, let's say you live in a location that receives about 5 hours of peak sunlight per day, your solar panels have an efficiency of 20%, and each panel has a power rating of 300 watts. If your home uses about 10,400 kWh per year, you would divide this by 365 to get your daily energy use (about 28.5 kWh). You would then divide this by the hours of peak sunlight (5 hours), to get your required power output per hour (about 5.7 kW). If each solar panel produces 300 watts (or 0.3 kW), you would divide 5.7 kW by 0.3 to get the number of solar panels you need, which would be about 19 panels.

  • Lower Electricity Bills:
    Once your solar panels are installed, you can generate your own electricity and reduce your reliance on the grid, which can lower your monthly bills.
  • Environmental Benefits:
    Solar energy is clean and renewable, so using it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants.
  • Increased Home Value:
    Installing solar panels can increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers.
  • Long-Term Savings:
    While the upfront cost of installing solar energy systems can be high, they can pay for themselves over time through lower energy bills and other savings.
  • Location:
    Homes in areas with lots of sunlight are generally better candidates for solar panels. If your home is shaded or doesn't receive much sunlight, it may not be the best choice.
  • Roof Orientation:
    Ideally, your roof should be facing south to get the most sunlight throughout the day.
  • Roof Condition:
    Your roof should be in good condition and able to support the weight of the solar panels. If your roof needs repairs or replacement, it's best to take care of that before your solar installation.

The installation process for solar panels can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the size of the system and the complexity of the installation.

Your installer should be able to give you an estimated timeline based on your specific project.

Solar panels generally require very little maintenance. However, it's a good idea to have them inspected every few years to ensure they are working properly and to clean off any debris or dirt that may have accumulated on the panels. Most solar panel installers offer maintenance services for an additional fee.

The inverter, which converts the direct current (DC) from the panels into alternating current (AC) for your home, typically has a shorter lifespan than the panels. You might need to replace it once during the lifetime of your solar system. Factor this into your long-term cost calculations.

Considering batteries alongside your solar system is a smart move. Batteries store excess solar energy, ensuring power availability during outages or when the sun isn't shining. This enhances energy independence and maximizes your solar investment. In areas with variable weather or high electricity rates, batteries can significantly boost savings and provide peace of mind. It's an investment in reliability and efficiency, making your solar system more versatile and effective.

When it comes to solar panels, you'll mainly encounter two types: Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but either can meet your home's energy needs effectively. In general, Mono-panels are more expensive and more efficient. Poly-panels are slightly less efficient but more affordable. Due to the efficiency difference, you may need a few more poly-panels than mono-panels. There are a handful of other factors as well: roof weight capacity, roof area, roof angle and orientation, and of course your financial limitations.

Instead of making a blind choice, consult with a solar installer who can assess various factors like your budget, location, and energy requirements. They can provide a tailored recommendation, ensuring you get the most efficient panels for your specific situation.