The energy provided by the sun is an incredible source of power that we can harness to run commercial premises. Installing solar panels makes a big difference to your business overheads and the planet, but do they work for everyone? We’ve outlined some of the pros and cons you need to consider when choosing commercial solar panels to determine if they’re right for your business.
Benefits of commercial solar panels
One of the primary benefits of commercial solar panels is that it saves businesses money. While the initial set-up costs might be higher than other investment opportunities, this cost will be recovered in 5 – 7 years and from then on savings will be considerable. Solar PV has a long lifetime and low maintenance costs. By investing in solar power your business protects a significant portion of its energy usage from increasing costs and will put you ahead of growing legislation to curb emissions as the government begins to focus on net zero.
Suitable for a variety of businesses
There used to be a belief that commercial solar panels were only really suitable for small to medium-sized businesses. But in recent years, the technology has improved considerably and Solar PV works for all businesses that require a power source and have either roof or ground space to mount it. This versatility makes it a suitable choice for so many companies, whether it’s used alone, in conjunction with another renewable energy source or to supplement energy from the Grid.
Sustainable and Environmentally friendly
For businesses keen to boost their green credentials, solar power is a great investment that significantly reduces their overall carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions. As a renewable energy source, solar power doesn’t cause any pollution or damaging emissions, so it’s better for the planet, your staff and visitors. If your business is keen to demonstrate a commitment to the environment as part of your corporate and social responsibility plans, solar PV is a cost-effective option that will save emissions and reduce costs.
Reliable yet low maintenance
Many business owners worry about switching to new technology, especially if that system powers their operations and premises. But with solar power, the installation process is fast and efficient, with a brief period of downtime. It’s also a low-maintenance system that will operate with minimal service and maintenance requirements – solar cells are encased in protective glass and surrounded by non-corrosive aluminium that can withstand exposure to the elements, so they rarely break down or need repairing. A solar PV system has a life span of around 30 years and long warranty periods protect your investment.
There are many advantages to commercial solar panels, but there are a small number of considerations that need to be taken into account.
You will need some sunshine!
There’s no denying that solar panels require sunlight to generate electricity and there will be days when your system is generating less power than others and your panels won’t generate at all when it’s dark. When your system is planned its output will be calculated to take into account changing weather and daylight hours, this will ensure that you know that the output or your system meets your energy requirements before you go ahead. It may make sense to incorporate battery storage so that you can store any solar energy that is not immediately needed by the business for use at other times. Either way, you will have a grid connection through which you can sell any surplus electricity that you are generating, or access additional energy if needed.
Whichever route you go down, your business will not be reliant on the weather!
Space, shading and feasibility
For solar panels to work properly, they need uninterrupted sunlight for the majority of the day. The space you have available, the orientation of your roof and the surrounding environment matter, as too many tall trees or buildings can shade and impact the efficiency of the panels.
For a solar system to be a sound investment the installation needs to generate a significant proportion of the power you need. Solar panels do require an amount of suitable space, which can either be ground-mounted or roof mounted.
Roofs should ideally be south-facing, but panels can be positioned as an East/West split in many cases. Ground mount systems require planning, which adds time to the installation process.
A good installer will ensure that you have the available unshaded space, opt for the right system and that its output will meet your requirements and deliver a return.
Solar power is an investment that offers countless advantages for businesses, which can deliver a return within 5-7 years, but it’s also something that requires careful consideration to determine if it’s the right choice for your company. Solar energy is suitable for a wide range of businesses, from different-sized companies to a host of sectors, but if it won’t work for your business, there may be another renewable energy source that is a better fit.
It’s important to assess your business needs and setting carefully so that you have all the information you need to make the right decision. This is where speaking to the experts can help. If you would like more advice about commercial solar panels or you have questions, get in touch with Geo Green Power today and we’ll be happy to help.