U.S. Department of Energy

Reducing System Design and Engineering Costs for Solar Installations

Simplification and standardization in the solar energy system design and engineering process, through the availability of software-based siting tools, system output models, and system design tools, can yield significant cost savings.

These cost reductions can, in turn, drive synergistic efficiencies in other non-hardware system cost components through shorter installation timeframes, permit applications that are easier and more transparent to review and approve, and a diminished need for rigorous system inspections, in addition to the inherent long-term performance and reliability benefits of well-designed and -engineered systems. Design tools further reduce installation costs by ensuring that the appropriate system components are packed in the installation truck and help  installers adopt cost-saving, just-in-time inventory management processes.

By reducing costs and eliminating market barriers, Market Transformation efforts strive to meet the SunShot Initiative goal to make large-scale solar energy systems cost-competitive by 2020.

Market Transformation is addressing system design and engineering costs through these activities: