Commercial solar panels are a wise investment for businesses, offering several key benefits.
They provide energy independence, reducing reliance on fluctuating energy markets and protecting against price hikes.
Significant cost savings are achieved by generating their electricity, leading to reduced energy expenses.
Governments offer tax incentives, including credits and grants, to encourage renewable energy adoption.
Adopting solar power enhances a business’s brand image, appealing to eco-conscious consumers.
As a long-term investment, solar panels are sustainable and pay for themselves within a few years.
Additionally, they contribute to a greener environment by significantly reducing carbon emissions.
Nevertheless, it’s essential for businesses to carefully evaluate the break-even point of this investment and its long-term financial implications.
So, is commercial solar a good investment?
To assist in making a well-informed decision, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list detailing the specific advantages and disadvantages of solar energy for businesses.
What Are Commerical Solar Panels
Commercial solar systems are designed to meet the energy needs of businesses in the commercial and industrial sectors.
Typically, a 120kW commercial solar system is enough to power a business that needs up to 180,000kW annually.
Commercial solar panels are also bigger and more complicated than residential solar systems.
Usually, they are 6.5 feet long, have 72 cells per panel, and weigh 50 pounds. Bigger panels can reach about 7.5 feet tall and 3.6 feet wide.
Commercial solar systems are vital because they help businesses reduce their carbon footprint and electricity costs.
Since solar panels use sunlight to produce electricity through photovoltaics, they are a clean and renewable energy source that requires low maintenance, lasting up to 30 years.
Businesses often install these systems on large flat rooftops of buildings like offices, warehouses, and factories as they get optimal sunlight exposure.
Parking lots can also be turned into open-air garages with solar-panelled roofs by building solar carports.
Ground-mounted solar arrays are another option, with some designs featuring panels that tilt and elevate to capture maximum sunlight.
Commercial solar also includes Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), Facade-Mounted Solar Power Systems, and On-grid Solar Power Plants.
By adopting commercial solar, businesses can enjoy significant savings of up to 25% compared to conventional electricity sources.
How Much Are Commercial Solar Panels?
Commercial solar panel prices vary greatly depending on various factors, including the installation’s size and complexity, the panels’ output and efficiency, and the type of roof.
Generally, a commercial solar PV system’s installation costs range from £750/kWp to £1,000/kWp.
For instance, a 200kWp system, roughly equivalent to 500 panels, may cost between £150,000 and £200,000.
The payback period for such an investment typically spans 4-6 years, potentially shorter depending on the grid electricity prices it offsets.
This estimate doesn’t include any tax incentives that might apply.
When considering commercial solar installations, it’s essential to factor in additional elements that can affect the overall cost.
These include the type of roof covering, roof accessibility, the existing electrical distribution setup, and local grid connection requirements.
For a smaller scale, such as a 100kWp system with around 250 panels, the cost will likely be in the range of £75,000 to £100,000.
These figures provide a broad guideline, but specific costs can vary based on the unique aspects of each installation.
What Are The Cons Of Commercial Solar
While commercial solar offers several benefits, it also comes with its own set of limitations.
The initial investment cost for installing solar panels can be substantial, varying based on the customisation needed for each specific business location and needs.
Roof suitability is another concern, as not all building roofs are ideal for solar panel installation, with factors like roof strength, size, and orientation playing a crucial role in the system’s feasibility and efficiency.
Aesthetic concerns also arise, as solar panels may only sometimes align with a business’s preferred image or architectural style.
Additionally, businesses planning to relocate might not reap the full long-term savings benefits, as the return on investment is greater the longer the system is used at the exact location.
Lastly, solar systems only provide backup power during outages if they are paired with batteries, which, while applicable, add extra cost and do not directly contribute to the system’s financial return.
Is Commercial Solar Worth The Investment?
In summary, commercial solar panels are a valuable investment for businesses, offering energy independence, significant cost savings, and environmental benefits.
While they require a substantial initial investment and considerations like roof suitability and aesthetics, the long-term savings and government incentives often outweigh these factors.
As the UK moves towards renewable energy, there is a greater need for commercial investment in grid-scale renewable generation, notably to support the increasing demand for electric vehicles.
For businesses looking for reliable solar solutions, ECOfootprint Limited is a solar installation company that can help budget and protect businesses from future energy price increases.