The state of Virginia and solar hours are somewhat middle of the road compared to other states in the lower 48. Here are some of the statistical numbers regarding sunlight hours in a few various places in Virginia:
Lynchburg VA Average Sunlight Hours is 5.0 hours per day with a fixed plate solar panel(meaning on a flat surface)
- with a one axis tracking flate plate solar collector, you can bring the average sunlight hours up to 6.3 hours per day
Norfolk VA Average Sunlight Hours is 4.7 hours per day with a fixed plate solar panel
- with a one axis tracking flate plate solar collector, you can increase the average sun hours per day in Norfolk to 5.9 hours
Sterling VA Average Sunlight Hours is 4.7 hour per day with fixed angle solar panels
- if you used an axis tracking solar panel you would increase that number to 5.8 hours of sunlight per day in Lubbock
Richmond VA average sunlight hours per day is 4.8 with a standard solar panel
- if you installed an axis tracking solar system you would get 5.9 average sunlight hours per day
Axis Tracking solar systems are going to have higher performance numbers always in terms of kilowatts of energy produced. The main reason is they have more direct sunlight hours hitting the axis tracking solar panels. Solar systems that pivot and follow the sun are great, but at the same time the prices for them are higher. You want to talk to a solar professional prior to purchasing any type of solar system, and make sure to get a clear estimate on how many hours of sunlight the systems should be expected to receive on average each day. Every solar electric system installer should be able to provide you with this information.
Since electric costs are not super high right now in Virginia, to make the math work with solar power, look into current local incentives.