10kW Solar Power Systems: Price, Output & Payback

10kW Solar power installation example roof-mounted

10kW solar systems are a great investment for Australian homes with high levels of electricity consumption or businesses with relatively small electricity needs. This article takes a look at 10kW solar system pricing, energy production and returns in Australia.

How many panels & how much roof space for a 10kW solar system?

A modern-day 10kW solar system will be comprised of between about 27-35 solar panels and will require about 80 m2 of roof space, depending on the wattage of the panels. Solar panels that output higher energy for the same dimension panels can reduce the roof space required, but often this newer technology will will cost more.

How much does a 10kW Solar System cost?

Solar Choice publishes a monthly Solar PV Price Index that tracks average pricing trends in every capital city in Australia. According to Solar Choice’s own data, the average 10kW solar system price in Australia as of September 2020 is about $0.98 per watt – or about $9,850, with a low of $0.48/W and a high of about $1.32/W.

The table below, from October 2019, provides a snapshot of price trends for 10kW solar systems in capital cities around the country.

Solar Choice - 10kW Solar panel system price graph history

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How much energy will a 10kW Solar System generate?

Depending a number of factors, the actual power output of a 10kW solar power system will vary. These variables include:

-Geographic location (e.g. Darwin generates much more energy than Hobart)

Orientation and tilt angle of the solar panel array

Whether there is any shade cast on the panels

-Operating temperature of the panels

The table below gives indicative figures for how many kilowatt-hours of energy a north-facing 10kW solar system will generate per day (on average throughout the year) in Australia’s capital cities.

10kW solar system output by capital city (per day)
Adelaide 36 – 41 kWh
Brisbane  39 – 41 kWh
Canberra 36 – 41 kWh
Darwin 42 – 46 kWh
Hobart 29 – 33 kWh
Melbourne 31 – 36 kWh
Perth 40 – 44 kWh
Sydney 34 – 38 kWh

*(Data ranges via PVWatts & Bureau of Meteorology, assuming 75% system efficiency for a north-facing array tilted at 30 degrees)

Is a 10kW solar system right for you?

10kW solar systems are on the large side for residential installations (where 5kW to 6.6kW is much more common). So as mentioned above, 10kW systems tend to be most appropriate for homes with significant amounts of daytime electricity consumption (or businesses with about 40kWh of daytime usage). They may also be a good size choice for homes who have low electricity consumption and want to go off-grid (see: “Can I go off-grid with a 10kW solar system?“)

The table below should give you some idea about whether or not a 10kW system may be well-suited to your needs – or if a better system size might be a better match. We recommend that you self-consume at least 30% of the the solar energy that your system produces.

Solar PV system sizing table no batteries

Remember: The table above is a highly generalised, indicative guide; it does not take into account your location or the tilt & orientation of your roof. If you’d like to take a more detailed look, use our Solar PV System Payback Estimator or our Simple Solar System Sizing Estimator.

Also keep in mind that your network company may have a default limit on solar system size – they may not allow you to connect a system larger than 5kW to the grid without extra paperwork and inspections.

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What is the financial return for a 10kW Solar System?

These days solar feed-in tariff credits are a secondary benefit from having a solar system installed. Instead,  you’ll derive the most value out of your self-generated solar energy by ‘self-consuming‘ it – using as much energy as possible directly. Because solar feed-in tariff rates are generally lower than what you’ll pay for energy from the grid, the more solar energy you use yourself, the more you’ll save; meanwhile, the excess solar will flow into the grid and earn you credits which help to reduce your overall bill.

The table below gives a rough overview of the difference between retail electricity rates and solar feed-in rates by city, based on some of the most competitive offers available.

Grid electricity price vs 10kW Solar feed in tariff rate


Payback Period for 10kW solar systems by capital city

The table below takes a look at payback times and internal rate of return (IRR) for those who install a 10kW solar system in select cities at two rates of self-consumption – low (30%) and high (60%) for a household that uses 35kWh of electricity per day at the rates listed in the table above. If you manage to achieve even higher self-consumption rates, the returns will look more favourable.


Indicative payback periods for 10kW solar systems 
10kW System Cost Electricity Price Feed in Rate Self Consumption Rate IRR Annual Savings Payback Period (Years)
Sydney $8,090 25c 5c 30% 18% $1,465 5.4
60% 30% $2,327 3.4
Brisbane $9,940 18c 5c 30% 15% $1,254 6.3
60% 19% $1,822 5.3
Melbourne $9,890 27.5c 12c 30% 21% $2,038 4.8
60% 29% $2,745 3.5
Perth $9,520 28.8c 7c 30% 21% $1,940 4.8
60% 32% $2,888 3.2
Adelaide $9,750 31c 10c 30% 23% $2,213 4.3
60% 33% $3,140 3.1
Hobart $11,340 27c 8.5c 30% 15% $1,680 6.6
60% 23% $2,496 4.4
Canberra $8,050 20c 10c 30% 21% $1,736 4.6
60% 28% $2,202 3.6
Darwin $12,250 26c 8c 30% 17% $2,050 5.9
60% 24% $2,842 4.2


  • Average daily energy use = 35 kWh
  • 10kW System cost is the average price for a fully installed turnkey system
  • Excludes state-based solar grants / rebates (e.g. Solar Victoria rebate)

Our assumptions not accurate for you? Calculate your own specifics with our Free Solar Payback Calculator


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Since 2008 our knowledge and sophisticated software has allowed over 160,000 Australian households and businesses to make a well-informed choice of solar power installer.

© 2019 Solar Choice Pty Ltd


  1. I want to have solar system on my rooftop to compensate the average energy 30kwh/ day. I have noticed that the three spinning meters are installed on the meter board,one of which is shown higher energy consumption in the electricity bill. I am planing to have 6 kW of power system with batteries to compensate the house requirement in peak hours. Where do I need to place the net meter to minimise the grid energy. Also I could use the battery power at night?How many 100 Amph batteries( lead acid) needs for this purpose please ?

    1. Hi Dr Ranjith,

      We wouldn’t be the best folks to ask about technical & design matters (get in touch with an installer instead), but yes you should be able to use battery power at night – that’s what it’s for!

      By the sound of it, a partial off-grid solar system might be best suited to your needs. Check out the article to see if you agree.

  2. I would like to know how large a system I would need to break even on a grid tied system. The meter uses 10000kwh per year. Electricity cost .13 kWh here in Mississippi and a buy back of .075kwh

    1. Hi Tommy,

      We don’t deal much with enquiries form the US (we’re an Australian company), but you’re welcome to attempt to work the numbers out for yourself using one of our solar calculator tools (scroll down for solar + storage calculators).

      My feeling, however, is that it will be very difficult for you to justify going off-grid financially. Solar installation prices in the states are still about 2x more than what they are in here, and your electricity rates are much lower (Australians pay about $0.20-25c/kWh for grid electricity). This is why Aus is one of the most promising markets for energy storage in the world!

      Best of luck with your system!

  3. You should probably remove old stats & articles like this..
    Things change and people can be easily confused haha

    1. Agreed, Steven – will be updating the article in the near future – system prices are down significantly compared to what they were when we first published this article in 2012!

  4. Just wondering how much a stand alone system would cost ?Our bills are around the $600 a quater.I was estimating around 20k for a system that would suit me,What are your thoughts

    1. Hi Jason,

      A 10kW solar system plus enough battery storage to carry a home through 3 days of inclement weather (see our article: ‘Can you go off-grid with a 10kW solar system plus batteries?’) would cost between about $40,000 – $60,000, depending on the components used in the system and the price put forward by the installer.

      Since you’ve already got a grid connection, it’s doubtful that it will be worth your while to cut ties with the grid, however (although it might be worth your while if you had a new-build home where you would have to pay for a new grid connection – which can easily cost $20,000). You might be able to make it worth your while by reducing your daily energy consumption to about 5-7kWh/day.

      We recently published an article about the situations where battery storage is already starting to make sense – you might want to check it out. We also have an off-grid system sizing estimator tool and a solar PV & storage sizing & payback estimator tool that you can play around with (not to mention a bunch of other calculators).

      We can also introduce you to a range of installers who would be able to give you quotes on systems that would meet your needs. Simply fill out the Quote Comparison Request form to the right of this page.

  5. WHat is the minimum off the grid system size required for a home using 30kw/day? I get a sense from looking at the information out there that is not as simple as estimating usage and then doing the math.

    1. Hi Alan,

      Assuming that 30kW/day is your total daily electricity use, and that you use 60% of your electricity during the day, you’re looking at a sunshine-hours electricity load of (30kWh x 60% =) 18kWh/day. Depending on where you are located, a 3 or 4kW solar system should be big enough to meet your needs. We’ve written a bit about this topic previously: “How to get the most out of your solar system: Appropriate system sizing“.

      You’re right that it’s a bit more complicated than this, but this is the gist of it. We would be interested in hearing the other questions you have on the topic.

  6. Your excel webapp does not work on chrome. Internet explorer has less than 50% of the market. Why do you so constrain your marketing? The world is rapidly moving to open standards perhaps you should take this up with your web developers. Meanwhile I’m looking elsewhere.

    1. Hi David,

      Thanks for the feedback.

      The calculator does work on Chrome, but you’ll need to navigate the different boxes with the keyboard arrows instead of clicking on the box that you’d like to edit. Sorry for this inconvenience–we are looking into updating and improving the calculator in the near future.

  7. Dear Sir,

    This article mentions that a 10kWh solar panel would cost $21,000. Is that the U.S. Dollar or the Australian?
    And is that price the same if the panel is to be purchased by a buyer outside Australia?

    1. Hi Mohsen,

      All prices are in Australian dollars and are only relevant to the Australian market. The price would be different in a different country and have nothing to do with importing or exporting–they reflect only the cost of a fully-installed solar PV system. They are not broken down into components and are unrelated to the wholesale cost of solar modules.

    1. Hi Deva,

      Yes, solar panels can be and are used to run water pumps. The actual details (e.g. size of solar panel array and how to mount it) will depend on your circumstances.

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