Commercial Solar: What You Need to Know

Solar PowerWhy smart businesses are turning to solar power.

In today’s competitive marketplace, businesses must optimise their productivity, or risk falling behind their competitors. Employees, machinery and even rooftops can be put to work generating profit. Currently, there are countless acres of rooftop spaces allowing solar energy to bounce off untapped. At a time when energy prices are climbing and many businesses must cut costs, only short-term thinking allows such wastefulness to continue.

The tide is beginning to turn. Our retail giants, from Sainsbury’s to Marks and Spencer, are leading the pack with gigantic investments in solar panels on their rooftops. These British businesses are overseeing the construction of some of the largest solar panel systems in the entire continent. Not content to be buffeted by the whims of unpredictable energy companies and the notoriously fickle oil market, they are taking their destiny in their own hands by aiming for energy independence.

Which are better, ground-mounted or roof-mounted solar panels?

The ecological advantages to solar panels placed in fields (ground-mounted solar panels) are undeniable. Biodiversity is able to thrive when 95% of the topsoil is left undisturbed. After a solar panel’s twenty five year life span is complete, the soil underneath will be much more fertile and rich in life than a comparable field subjected to the toils of conventional farming. Farmers are able to co-locate solar panels with smaller livestock, such as sheep, geese and chickens, essentially producing a double ‘crop’ from their fields – both meat and energy. Furthermore, solar panels are the British public’s favourite form of renewable energy, even when ground-mounted, so long as they are located on suitable sites.

However, whilst farmer’s fields do represent suitable sites, we shouldn’t be building solar panels either on areas of outstanding natural beauty or sites of special scientific interest. In order to protect the natural beauty of our environment whilst also meeting our clean energy requirements, the best path incorporates both solar panels mounted on rooftops and those fixed in the ground. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) supports this position, and feels that commercial rooftops represent an excellent position for solar panels.

What’s the return on investment on commercial solar panels?

Installing commercial solar panels makes excellent financial sense. The peak generating hours of solar panels coincide with the work day, which is when the majority of businesses use the most power. This makes rooftop solar panels very efficient and cost-effective, as they are able to power a business directly.

Furthermore, the Commercial Feed-in Tariff means that businesses are paid for every kilowatt of power generated at a set price, regardless of whether that power is used on site or exported to the National Grid. Given the high price of importing energy from the grid, companies that have solar panels installed are therefore incentivised to use the power that they generate onsite. Combining the gains of the Commercial Feed-in Tariff and the savings on energy bills produces a handsome net profit for the typical company over the twenty five year lifetime of the solar panel system, at a very competitive ROI.

The most important thing you need to know about commercial solar

Transitioning to a low-carbon future, protecting our environment and reducing UK dependence on unpredictable and often dictatorial foreign energy companies are all undeniable benefits of solar. But the single most important thing that businesses need to know about commercial solar panels is what effect it will have on their bottom line.

The exact amount that companies are able to save with solar panels varies on a case by case basis. That’s why you should get in touch with Complete Renewables and receive a complete breakdown of the anticipated returns on investment for your solar panel project. The Government’s Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) provides a good framework, which we build on by analysing panel and inverter specifications alongside accurate climate data.

Find out your anticipated Return on Investment for commercial Solar Panels. Talk to a specialist: 01621 827015.