How much do commercial solar panels cost? Over the last decade, commercial solar panel prices have decreased significantly. According to NREL the cost of solar for commercial use in the U.S. is down by two-thirds since 2010. This has been mainly due to more efficient solar technologies and lower inverter prices. In fact, the average cost of solar panels for commercial use in Texas is 7.6% less than the national average.
The Average Cost of Installing Commercial Solar Panels
Solar is often thought about in terms of the price per watt of power capacity, which equalizes system costs similar to the price-per-square-foot metric the in real estate sector. Installing solar panels for commercial use costs $2.00 per watt. A 100-kilowatt commercial solar system can produce 136,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually, which is enough to cover the entire electricity bill of a typical commercial customer in Texas. It costs approximately $200 before federal, state, and local incentives are applied.
Each commercial installation is unique. Requesting a free site assessment from a licensed solar company is the best way to determine how much solar will cost you at your location. We will evaluate the feasibility of solar panels and their ROI for your business.
Commercial Solar Panels Cost Breakdown
It is a common question that we receive from customers: “How much do commercial solar panels cost?” The answer is that the price depends on many factors, including the type of equipment and the electricity consumption.
The size of the system is important. A small boutique and a warehouse will have different energy needs.
The black rooftop panels that you see on the roof are not all identical. Three unique solar panel technologies are available: thin film, monocrystalline, and polycrystalline. Each of these solar panels has a different material composition that affects its efficiency, cost, and aesthetic. We are happy to assist you in selecting the right type of solar panels for your business. Contact ESD Solar today for more information!
It’s all about the size of your facility, as a bigger business will require more energy. Your location will also affect the rates of electricity in your area. According to data released by the Energy Information Administration in 2019, the national average is approximately 11 cents per Kilowatt-hour.
Your roof space, your electricity consumption, and your financial goals will determine the size of your solar system. The cost of your system increases as you scale up to larger systems with more panels. This is primarily because:
How many solar panels do you need?
Solar panels will be required in proportion to the size of your facility and your energy requirements. Calculate how many panels you need by multiplying the energy requirements of your business by the peak sun hours in your area and dividing it by each panel’s wattage.
What type of mounting infrastructure is required for your installation?
The cost of the solar mounting equipment, cabling, and other components will affect your overall installation cost.
What percentage of your energy use do you want to come from solar?
If you’re going solar in your business, decide whether it means reducing your dependence on the grid or using solar power as your primary source of electricity. You’ll want to also consider solar batteries as well as a backup generator to provide power in emergencies or downtime.
How energy efficient is your current building?
Each business must be able to depend on a reliable energy supply. Likewise, each electrical device requires its own share of energy – from lighting and HVAC to machines or equipment powered by electricity. The energy efficiency of your home is important, especially if solar energy will be your sole source of electricity.
Even if you use the same solar panels, the cost will vary depending on the commercial application. Solar panels attached to a metal standing seam roof require different equipment than ballast systems on flat roofs. Solar carports, ground-mounted systems, and other similar applications require an additional structure. In addition, the cabling from the electric meter to the solar carport must be run underground. The cost of each of these systems varies depending on the components that are required.
Rail mounting involves many additional parts, including the railing and any bonding attachment. Not only is the price higher, but the labor required to install the equipment is also more expensive. The cost of rail-mounted systems can almost be twice as much as a direct-attach (rail-less system). Costs will vary depending on the type of system that you select for your business. You can choose from:
The most common type of solar installation is roof-mounted because it allows businesses to use their unused space on the roof. Roof mount systems come in a variety of types, including:
- Standard Roof Mount: The installation is a rail-based, fully-anchored style. This attachment is ideal for roofs with a pitched pitch or that are shaped differently.
- Flat Roof Single-Tilt Mount: This type of installation is best suited for large flat roofs such as those in a warehouse or manufacturing facility.
- Dual Tilt Flat Roof Mount: The double-tilt rack is similar to a single-tilt roof mount, except that the panels are oriented in both directions. This means twice as many panels can be accommodated in the same space. It is ideal for small businesses that have flat roofs.
A large parking lot on site can be used to accommodate solar panels if your business does not have the necessary space for rooftop installations. Carport solar can be used for a variety of applications, including:
- Long Span Canopy: This installation will cover two parallel parking rows, as well as the inside driving lanes, with a continuous canopy.
- Dual Tilt Canopy: A double-tilt canopy covers only one row of parking with two sets of panels that tilt down towards the middle.
- Garage Top Canopy: If you have a parking garage on-site, a canopy for the garage will be suited to your needs. It adapts easily to different structural conditions while maintaining a perfect direction for maximum performance.
Larger installations such as those used in power plants or for large businesses may be the best option. This installation uses a ground-mounted modular racking system that tilts the modules.
Rebates, Tax Credits, and Other Incentives
There are many government and state programs that offer incentives to lower the costs of commercial solar panels.
- Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Solar investment tax credits (ITCs) issued by the government in 2021 will allow businesses to deduct up to 26% of their annual tax from the cost of a solar installation. In 2023, this amount will fall to 22% and in 2024, it will be 10%.
- Local Incentives. To encourage more businesses to go solar, many cities offer rebates that make the installation more affordable. Austin Energy, for example, offers a $2,500 flat rebate to customers who choose solar. To receive the rebate, you must complete a training program and hire an Austin Energy-approved contractor.
- Utility Rebates. Some of these utilities include Garland Power and Light, Holy Cross Energy, and others.
- Net Metering. This incentive allows companies to send their unused electricity to the grid and receive credits on their utility bills. Net metering is available in Texas and Colorado through local utility companies.
- Sales Tax Incentives. Sales tax incentives provide an exemption from state sales tax or sales and use taxes for the purchase of solar panel systems. Colorado and Texas offer this exemption to ensure that businesses don’t have to pay additional taxes due to the added value of their solar panels.
Cost Savings & Return on Investment
It may seem like a large investment to purchase a commercial solar system which includes the equipment and installation costs. But don’t worry, many financial incentives are available to reduce your costs. Once you have paid off your system, your business can generate energy for free.
Many factors can be implemented after installation to reduce the overall cost of ownership and generate a positive return on investment. These include:
- Constant Monthly Energy Savings. After installing a solar panel setup, you will enjoy free passive energy for many decades.
- Stability in Energy Prices. Solar energy can be a long-term investment for your company, as it will protect you from rising energy prices in the future.
- Higher Property Values. According to studies, solar-equipped homes have higher values and are more likely to sell than those without PV.
- Corporate Reputation. Your customer loyalty will improve if you demonstrate your commitment to the environment. It also helps set you apart from your competitors.
How ESD Solar Can Help You Save Money
Many factors can influence the cost of a solar system. This is why you should have a Texas solar installer who has experience in the field to guide you through the process. ESD Solar is eager to assist businesses in Texas and Colorado to go solar. We’re known for our financial expertise, which is one of the many reasons we are a top commercial solar installer.
You’ll be able to take advantage of all the financial incentives available in your area for solar energy. The result? You will reap the benefits of commercial savings on solar power for years to come and be able to see the sustainable investment you are making in the future.
So Let’s Get Started!
Solar power can help you lower your costs and reap the benefits. Get a customized price quote by requesting a site analysis today!