Below you’ll find the top solar companies in Wyoming as ranked by us and reviewed by verified solar customers. To learn more about what goes into our “Best Rank” score for each company, visit our How We Rank page. For our full Wyoming Solar Overview, keep reading:
Wyoming is the nation’s leader in annual coal production, so the fact that solar power occupies such a small part of the state’s energy portfolio should come as no surprise. And unfortunately, the path toward widespread solar adoption in the Cowboy State is fraught with roadblocks.
Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of going solar in Wyoming.
Here's an at-a-glance description of the current benefits and drawbacks of switching to solar in Wyoming:
The cost of solar power in Wyoming can be viewed in two ways. First is through the lens of levelized costs, which divides the total costs over 25 years (the projected lifetime of the solar PV system) by the total energy output in kilowatt-hours. Comparing the levelized cost of solar energy (4 cents per kWh) to the levelized cost of traditional electricity (30 cents per kWh) shows just how high the savings potential could be when residents make the switch to clean energy.
The other metric for solar costs is the actual dollars and cents investment needed to fund a typical 5 kW system, which in Wyoming’s case, is about $20,000. This figure puts Wyoming on par with several neighboring states, though, when compared to leading solar states like Hawaii and California, on the higher end. Thankfully, the federal tax credit reduces this figure by 30 percent after the first year, making costs that much more manageable.
Residents of Wyoming can go solar in one of two ways: direct purchase or solar loan. Other, more cost-effective options like solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPA) are not available; but both cash purchase and solar loans possess their own advantages:
Cash purchase, while requiring the highest upfront investment (i.e. $20,000 for a 5 kW solar panel system), also promises the best long-term returns on that investment. Factors like system capacity, energy efficiency, and installation fees, can all affect the total cost of the purchase; regardless, the federal solar tax credit will effectively reduce that $20,000 figure to somewhere closer to $14,000.
Because utility prices in Wyoming are relatively low, a solar panel system will take around 15 year to recoup that initial out-of-pocket cost. The great news is that once savings have completely offset those costs, solar panel owners will have another 10 years to enjoy a profitable solar energy system. By year 25, customers will have earned about $15,000, with home values increasing by a comparable amount.
Solar loans, meanwhile, possess all the benefits of solar ownership (access to the federal tax credit among them), without the hefty initial investment. Most solar loans come with zero money down terms, meaning customers who finance a 5 kW system through a third-party lender will have already earned more than $5,000 from the federal tax credit alone.
These savings will decrease for every year of the 15-year loan, with borrowers in the hole by nearly $8,000 in year 15. Once the loan has been satisfied, customers will have another decade to recoup those losses, earning nearly $7,000 after year 25!
Solar incentives in Wyoming are nearly non-existent. Apart from the lack of a state income tax, which only serves to increase buying power, the state offers little in terms of easing the financial burden of solar energy, with no solar rebate program, no tax exemptions, and no state-level tax credits.
As for solar policy, the landscape is not much brighter. The state has no imposed renewable portfolio standard or solar carve-out, and no established interconnection rules for systems to follow prior to plugging into the utility grid.
The only policy Wyoming has going for it is its net metering policy, which requires all utility companies to credit solar users the full retail value of the surplus solar energy their systems (capped at 25 kW) contribute to the utility grid.
Save for a massive, 100+ megawatt utility solar project in 2018, and a smaller utility investment in 2020, Wyoming’s solar footprint is less than impressive. Only about 2,700 installation projects and 11 solar companies operate in the state, providing clean energy to 22,000 Wyoming homes.
Interested in a solar quote? Check out the top-ranked solar companies in Wyoming and read reviews from verified solar customers.