Economic optimization of large active community solar heating systems with annual thermal storage is discussed. The economic evaluation is based on a thermal performance simulation model employing one hour time steps and on detailed up-date data. Different system configurations and sub-system sizes have been considered. For Northern European weather conditions (60/sup 0/N) and with at least 400-500 residential units, the life-cycle cost of delivered solar heat was 6.5-7.5 c/kWh for 50% fraction of non-purchased energy. For a solar fraction of 70%, the solar energy price would be 8 c/kWh.