Solar power in West Virginia

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Solar power in West Virginia on rooftops can provide 22.9% of all electricity used in West Virginia from 6,300 MW of solar panels,[1] but West Virginia will be the last state in the United States to reach grid parity - the point where solar panels are cheaper than grid electricity - without incentives, due to the low cost of electricity - about 6.2¢/kWh. The point where grid parity is reached is a product of the average insolation and the average cost of electricity. At 6.2¢/kWh and 4.3 sun hours/day solar panels would need to come down to the neighborhood of $1,850/kW installed to achieve grid parity. The first state in the US to achieve grid parity was Hawaii.[2] Cost, though, is not the only reason to choose solar power. The primary reason is to stop using coal and oil, and switch to renewable sources of energy.[3] There are many disadvantages to using coal as an energy source.[4]

Net metering is available continuously to residential consumers generating up to 25 kW and up to 2 MW for industrial users but is limited to 3% of peak demand the previous year.[5] West Virginia was given an A for net metering and a B for interconnection policies.[6] In addition to the 30% federal tax credit, West Virginia has a 30% tax credit, but unlike the federal credit, is limited to $2,000. A $7,000 system can therefore be installed for $2,900.[7]

In 2012 the largest solar array in West Virginia was the 407 kW array installed on a carport at the American Public University System financial center in Charles Town, which includes 15 charging stations for electric cars.[8]


Source: NREL[9]
Grid-Connected PV Capacity (MW)[10][11][12][13][14][15][16]
Year Capacity Installed % Change
2010 <0.1 <0.1
2011 0.6 0.6
2012 1.7 1.1 183%
2013 2.2 0.5 29%
2014 2.6 0.4 18%
2015 3.4 0.8 31%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic Technical Potential in the United States
  2. ^ Reaching Grid Parity
  3. ^ Top 10 Reasons To Use Solar Energy At Home
  4. ^ Energy Resources: Fossil Fuels
  5. ^ West Virginia - Net Metering
  6. ^ Freeing the Grid
  7. ^ West Virginia
  8. ^ SolarWorld Solar Panels Power Largest Solar Installation in West Virginia
  9. ^ "PV Watts". NREL. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  10. ^ Sherwood, Larry (August 2012). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2011" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). p. 17. Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  11. ^ Sherwood, Larry (June 2011). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2010" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2011-06-29. 
  12. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2010). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2009" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2010-07-28. 
  13. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2009). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2008" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). p. 16. Retrieved 2010-07-24. 
  14. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2012). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2012" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). p. 16. Retrieved 2013-10-11. 
  15. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2014). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2013" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2014-09-26. 
  16. ^ West Virginia Solar

External links[edit]