Utility-scale soft costs were just 25 cents/watt
According to a new study from NREL, in 2010 the average soft costs for residential systems averaged $1.50 per watt, or roughly 23 percent of system cost. For commercial systems, the median 2010 soft costs were $0.99/W for systems smaller than 250 kW (about 17 percent of system cost) and $0.25/W for systems larger than 250 kW (about 5 percent). The study, “Benchmarking Non-Hardware Balance-of-System (Soft) Costs,” included typical permitting fees but did not measure installer profit, overhead, financing and contracting, which are significant and would add to these figures. The study follows the Lawrence Berkeley Lab report, “Tracking the Sun V,” which suggested that the median cost of installing large systems fell to about $4.50 per watt by the middle of 2012, based largely on the declining cost of modules.
Read the full report here: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/56806.pdf