Theoretically, you may understand the working of photovoltaic solar cells – solar panels, placed on the rooftop capture sunlight and convert it into electricity.
But, there could be plenty of questions and doubts about the why and how of solar power.
Are solar panels worth the investment? How to get started? Is it feasible for my business? Will it last long? And plenty more queries. No worries. Use this beginner’s guide to know all about installing solar panels for businesses and reap the power of the sun.
Let’s start with the most pressing question.
Why should my Business go Solar?
The biggest benefit of going solar for commercial buildings is a huge reduction in electricity bills. Retail complexes, offices, and other commercial buildings have a higher electricity tariff compared to households. By switching to a solar rooftop system, you can reap the bountiful energy of the sun to power most or all your appliances, thereby minimising your electricity bills to a huge extent.
By relying on solar power for your business, you can protect your organisation from electrical price volatility and inflation. You can avail the financial incentives and subsidies offered by state and central governments to businesses going solar, thereby helping you reduce the initial costs.
Lastly, let’s look at the other non-financial benefits. Going solar is a huge boost-up for the reputation of your business. You are seen as a green, eco-friendly business, which in turn, improves your brand’s image among clients, shareholders and the general public.
Commercial Solar Plant Installations – The Financing
Let’s start with the numbers – after all, this is a big financial decision for your business.
How much does solar plants Cost?
The cost of installing solar panels on rooftops has reduced drastically over the last few years. The Swanson Effect illustrates this. The average cost of solar panels in 1977 was $77 per watt. Today, the average cost has reduced by 99.2% to $0.74 per watt. With the advances in modern technology, the costs of installations of solar panels have also reduced.
Another big benefit is the subsidies and incentives offered. As India prepares to reach its ambitious target of generating 175GW of renewable energy by 2022, several subsidies are offered by state and central governments for businesses switching to solar power.
A good example is the subsidies offered by the state of Tamil Nadu. Under the government’s Net Metering Scheme, the first 10,000 consumers in the state who set up rooftop solar panels of 1kW can avail a subsidy of 20,000INR from the state government. This is on top of the 30,000INR subsidy offered by the central government. These subsidies can significantly reduce the initial cost of setting up a solar rooftop system.
The capacity of Solar plant to be installed?
This depends on the available space on your rooftop and other factors. This solar calculator from Amplus Solar can help you get a clear picture of the energy savings, the solar power capacity of your rooftop panels and more.
You have to enter in just a few details like your state (location), average monthly electricity bills, available rooftop space in square feet and the type of connection (commercial or industrial). The calculator evaluates the details to give you other info about rooftop solar power capacity for your building.
The following figures show the solar panel capacity for a commercial customer in Haryana, who incurs electricity bills of 15,000INR on an average, with a rooftop capacity of 6000 sq.ft.
Images via Amplus Solar
Other Factors to Consider:
Location of the solar panels
Though you may have a vast rooftop space, it may not be possible to utilise the entire space. There are several factors to consider like optimum sunlight exposure, possible physical obstructions, and other geographical considerations.
Ownership of the Property
If you own the commercial property, then you can go ahead and start the installation process, immediately. On the other hand, if you have rented the commercial property, then you should get the go-ahead from your landlord, before setting up a solar rooftop system. Several commercial solar installations are carried on the rented property as it can benefit both the tenant and the landlord – lowered electricity costs for the tenant and increase in property value for the landlord.
How to choose the Right Solar Partner?
Apart from the cost of installation, you must consider other factors like certifications, experience, and expertise of the installer and more. Start by researching and shortlisting the top 5 solar companies. Get quotations from each of them. Compare and evaluate the kind of services, post installation services, operations and maintenance they are willing to include in their term apart from the tariffs.
This can save you considerable time, energy and money, as the company takes care of all the details.
It’s Time for your Business to Go Solar
Maybe you are considering installing solar panels for your business at some time in the future – to do some environmental good. It’s time to shake off that old way of thinking. Remember, going solar is not just for the environment, but also a strategic business decision.
Solar is definitely a great fit for businesses of all sizes – from huge Fortune 500 companies to small and medium enterprises. Capitalise on the financial returns provided by solar plants and boost your business growth.
It’s the time to get the ball rolling, make use of this solar starter guide for businesses, and start your solar journey.