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How Much Power Does a 12kW Solar System Produce?

Tim Carter
Written by Tim Carter Last Updated: September 7, 2022

A 12kW solar system is a relatively large system and would generate a relatively large amount of electricity. However, the exact amount of electricity a 12kW solar system produces depends on the amount of sunlight it receives. The amount of sunlight a solar panel receives is quantifiable and depends on the weather and seasons, but mostly on its location. How much power does a 12kw solar system produce?

Installing a 12-kilowatt (kW) solar power system on your rooftop can significantly reduce your monthly bills if you have high utility bills.

To how-much-power-does-a-12kw-solar-system-produce, make sure you get the best price for solar panel installation.

Comparing 12kW solar system deals with deals from other solar buyers in your area is the best way to feel confident when purchasing.

How many solar panels do we need to generate 12 kW? What is the roof area required for a 12 kW solar system? How much does a 12kW solar system produce?

Table of Contents

How Much Does a 12kW Solar System Produce Per Year?

The amount of energy that a 12kW solar array produces each day (or month) depends mainly on the following factors:

  • Location
  • Inclination angle and direction
  • Climate and season

However, assuming the 12kW solar array is south-facing, an array of this size would produce between 45 and 65kWh of energy per day on average. This amount of energy corresponds to about 1400-2000 kWh of monthly energy production.

A 12kW solar system produces an average of 16,200 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year.

This is enough to power a home with an annual electricity consumption of about 1,350 kWh.

In other words, a 12kW solar system can offset about 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

How Much Does a 12kW Solar System Cost?

The cost of a 12kW solar system varies depending on the location, but the average price is about $18,000 (it typically ranges from $15,000 to $30,000 before any rebates or incentives).

As of January 2022, the average cost of solar power in the US is $2.77 per watt ($33,240 for a 12-kilowatt system). That means the total cost of a 12kW solar system would be $24,598 after the 26-degree rebate on the solar tax credit (not accounting for any additional government rebates or incentives).

The price will vary based on the type and efficiency of the solar panels and the cost of labor in your area.

After factoring in federal and state incentives, the ultimate cost of a 12kW solar PV system can range from $6,000 to $9,000.

This means that the payback period for the investment is typically between 8 and 10 years.

In some parts of the United States, you may also access solar rebates and incentives from your state, local government, or utility company that can further reduce your solar prime costs.

Some states also have a market for Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs), meaning you can generate additional income by selling the SRECs your system generates.

Checking the offers of various solar companies can ensure you are getting the best price for your solar panel system.

Homeowners who compare solar deals on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace typically save 20 percent simply by checking out multiple solar options from different companies.

Solar panels have an average lifespan of 25 years, so the system will continue to produce electricity for many years after the initial investment has been paid off.

Besides the initial investment, there are also ongoing costs, such as repairs and replacements. However, over time, these costs are typically offset by savings on electricity bills.

What Does the Output of a Solar System Depend On?

The output of a solar panel system depends on a few different factors. The biggest factor is sunshine, a system that will produce more electricity in sunny California than it would in cloudy Alaska.

The time of year also makes a difference.

The panels will produce more electricity in summer when the sun is high in the sky than in winter when the sun is lower on the horizon.

Similarly, the output will be higher during midday than at dawn or dusk.

Finally, the angle at which the panels are mounted affects their output. The ideal angle is perpendicular to the sun’s rays, but most panels are mounted at a fixed angle (usually between 30 and 60 degrees).

How Much Does a 12kW Solar System Produce Per Day?

A 12kW solar system produces an average of 45 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per day, assuming 4 hours of peak sunlight.

This is equivalent to about 360 pounds of coal, 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas, or 17 gallons of oil.

Solar energy can generate electricity, heat water, or power other appliances.

With advances in technology, solar systems are becoming more efficient and less expensive.

Sometimes, solar power can even earn you money if you sell excess electricity to the grid.

With proper maintenance, a solar system can last for 25 years or more.

How Many Solar Panels Are Needed to Generate 12 kW?

A 12kW solar PV system comprises around 40 solar panels.

The average 12kW solar PV system will take up about 400 square feet of space.

In terms of the physical size of the solar panels, they are about 65 inches by 39 inches. Solar panels come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the average 12kW solar PV system will have panels that are about 65 inches by 39 inches.

The physical size of a 12kW solar PV system will vary depending on the efficiency of the panels being used.

Higher efficiency panels can produce more power with a smaller footprint.

For example, if you were to use Sunpower 325 Watt Solar Panels, you would only need 20 panels to reach 12kW.

In contrast, if you were to use Solaria PowerXT-360R Watt Solar Panels, you would need 30 panels to reach the same output.

In terms of electricity production, a 12kW solar PV system will generate between 14,400 kWh and 19,200 kWh per year.

This range is based on average production of 120 Watts per square meter and considering locations between 25 degrees North Latitude and 25 degrees South Latitude.

Production will be lower in locations closer to the poles because of the reduced number of hours of sunlight during the winter months.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need for 12 kW?

Normal solar panels for us on a house range from about 280 to 450 watts per panel.

But they will only make that power near noon when at a perfect angle to the sun.

Depending on where you are and the time of year, the actual power your solar system can produce will vary.

If you are looking for just a peak of 12 kilowatts of power, you can just divide 12,000 by the wattage of each panel. So 12,000/400 would be 30 panels.

But you only ever get 12,000 watts.

It will ramp up starting at sunrise to about 10,000 watts at solar noon and then ramp back down to zero at sunset.

On an average 5-sun-hour day, the 12,000-watt array would theoretically produce about 60-kilowatt hours (12-kilowatt x 5 hours).

Final Thoughts

According to recent estimates, a 12-kilowatt (kW) solar system will generate about 16,200-kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year.

This is enough to offset the annual electricity use of an average U.S. household.

In terms of cost savings, this translates to an estimated savings of $1,470 per year, or about $122 per month.

Over 25 years, the total savings from a 12kW solar system would be nearly $37,000.

These numbers will vary depending on the specific location and weather, but they provide a general idea of the potential benefits of solar power.

In terms of environmental impact, a 12kW solar system will offset approximately 11 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

This is equivalent to planting nearly 260 trees or taking two cars off the road. Solar power is a clean and renewable source of energy that can help to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and combat climate change.


Tim Carter
Tim Carter

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