Commercial Solar Systems

Solar power has increased significantly in the last two decades, partly due to the desire of businesses to increase their bottom line and benefit from generous tax benefits. As solar panels are added to roofs in residential homes to generate electricity, commercial solar systems may be installed on properties owned by corporations, non-profits, and governments to produce power.

What is Commercial Solar?

Many commercial enterprises rely on electricity, even though modern solar power has been available for many decades. Switching to solar energy can save businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations money while also reducing their carbon footprint. Commercial solar panels harness the power of the sun to provide electricity for office buildings, factories, and warehouses.

Where Can Commercial Solar Panels Be Installed?

Solar panels are installed on roofs for residential solar installations because they have the largest surface area and can capture the most sunlight. Roof installations are also an option for commercial installation because office buildings, factories, warehouses, and other spaces with large, flat roofs make them ideal.

Commercial solar panels can be installed in other places than the roof. Solar carports can be created by converting parking lots into open-air garages that have solar panels on the roof. Other options include ground-mounted arrays. There are even panels with the ability to tilt or elevate at certain times to capture the maximum amount of sunlight.

 

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Commercial Solar Systems

 

What Is the Cost of Commercial Solar Systems?

Installing commercial solar panels can range from $100,000 (for a small company) to $1,000,000. for large buildings. The more solar panels a company needs to generate power, the bigger it is.

While the initial cost of installing commercial solar panels can be high, it is important to consider the long-term savings and benefits. Many businesses and organizations see a significant reduction in their energy bills once solar panels are installed, and some may even be able to generate excess energy that can be sold back to the grid.

Factors that Influence the Price of Commercial Solar Systems

The cost of any construction or improvement project depends on several factors and can vary widely, especially for commercial and industrial buildings of different sizes. Installing additional solar panels for a commercial project will increase costs and installation time, especially if the building structure poses challenges. 

However, tax incentives and lower energy costs can help offset the cost of a commercial solar installation, and the actual savings will depend on the amount of energy required to run the business. Some businesses may even sell the excess energy generated by the solar installation.

To find out the cost of solar installations for your business, get estimates from ESD Solar, who are among the best commercial solar contractors in your area.

Installing Commercial Solar Panels

Commercial solar panels are typically installed on roofs using either attached or ballasted racking. 

A ballasted rack requires heavy cement blocks or other items to secure the panels to the roof, while an attached rack allows panels to be mounted on sloping rooftops using roof-penetrating equipment. It is important to hire professionals with the right tools and training to install commercial solar panels properly. 

Poor installation can result in low power generation or even pose a safety risk if the panels are not securely in place.

Commercial Solar Panel Rebates and Tax Credits

The Solar Investment Tax Credit is a federal program designed to encourage businesses to install solar panels on their commercial properties. 

The tax credit is currently set at 30% of the total cost for solar photovoltaic systems (PV) installed during the current tax period. In December 2020, Congress extended the ITC, but the credit will gradually reduce in subsequent years. The credit for system installations begun between 2020 and 2022 is 26%, which will drop to 22% in 2023. 

From 2024 onwards, the credit will only be 10%. It is advisable to start your commercial solar project as soon as possible. The US Department of Energy considers a solar project “started” when significant progress is made with the installation, or if at least 5% of the total cost has already been paid for work that is “integral” to the installation and services are rendered within 3.5 months of payment.

Residential vs. Commercial Solar Panels

While solar panels for both residential and commercial use absorb sunlight and convert it into clean energy, there are significant differences between them. Commercial enterprises require more power than the average home, so commercial panels are typically larger or more powerful. 

A solar panel used for home use usually has 60 to 72 cells, while commercial solar panels have 96 or more cells. There are also many ways to install solar panels on commercial properties, as the installation process for commercial solar panels varies depending on the size and structure of the building.

 

Commercial Solar Systems

 

Commercial Solar System FAQs

How do commercial solar panels get installed?

Installing commercial solar panels is usually done with heavy weights to hold them in place on flat roofs, or roof-penetrating equipment (attached rack) for sloping rooftops. Due to the size and nature of these installations, they must be installed by professionals.

How can you determine the size of a commercial solar power system?

Although commercial solar systems can be complicated to install and maintain, determining the size of a system that you require is not difficult. Multiply your business’s energy requirements by the number of hours of maximum sunlight in your region. Divide that number by the wattage of a solar panel to find out how many watts your system will need.

How many solar panels will I need to use for my business?

Divide the total wattage (the power of all the panels) by the wattage. The size of the panels will determine how many you need.

What is the difference between residential and commercial solar panels?

Both commercial and residential solar panels absorb sunlight, which is then converted into energy. Like most commercial products, the scale of production is larger than that for residential solar panels. Commercial solar panels are likely to be bigger and have more wattage.

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