Photovoltaic systems, also known as solar PV, convert solar power into electricity. PV cells consist of one or two layers of a semiconductor material and when the sun's rays hit the cell, an electric field is generated across the layers. PV cells do not necessarily require direct sunlight in order to operate, as they will still work with the diffuse light on a cloudy day. However, the greater the intensity of the sunlight hitting the cells, the greater the flow of electricity.
Why should my company invest in commercial solar?
Solar is a solid investment for businesses which, thanks to tax benefits such as credits and depreciation among other incentives, has a relatively low buy-in cost combined with a guaranteed return on investment. Many companies will realize an investment payback within 3 years and see a benefit through cost savings for more than 25 years!
How much does a commercial solar energy system cost?
Depending on need and available space commercial solar arrays can vary pretty broadly in initial price. Systems in the range of 25kW and 250kW are generally considered “commercial” sized. Solar energy systems are usually priced per watt of system size. The average price per watt in the U.S. was under $3 in 2021, down from over $3.30 in 2016. In 2022, a 25kW will carry a gross price of about $57,000. Upfront incentives can offset as much as 80 percent of the initial cost with financing, often underwritten by the state and other civic entities, picking up the difference. This can make the upfront investment close to zero.
How do I estimate my company's potential savings with solar energy?
According to market data, the average business in the U.S. pays about $560 to utility companies each month. The report shows businesses that install solar panels are able to cut their bill by nearly 90 percent or higher—totally erasing electric bills from the bottom line.
How much does it cost to maintain a commercial solar system?
Solar energy systems require minimal maintenance. Precipitation actually helps clean panels by removing debris that may accumulate over time. That’s because the slant of most roofs—or the angled design of your system on a flat roof—ensures anything resting on the panels eventually falls off. If you’re ever in the need of professional maintenance, reputable solar companies offer warranties that would cover most, if not all, of the costs associated with routine maintenance. Always contact your solar contractor to ensure you’re properly utilizing the benefits outlined in the warranty.
When are commercial solar panels producing energy?
The simple answer is always. Even though maximum energy efficiency is reached when the sun is shining, electricity is still produced on cloudy days and during an overcast winter day. And while no electricity is produced at night (because the panels are not absorbing energy from the sun), an energy storage system solves this issue, ensuring that you always have access to electricity.
Will I still receive an electric bill if my building has commercial solar panels?
Yes, you will still receive an electric bill even if you have solar panels installed on your commercial property. However, solar panels will drastically reduce or even eliminate the electricity delivery part of your bill, along with the supply charge. The customer service charge is the one portion of the bill that solar does not reduce.
What solar energy rebates and incentives are available for commercial businesses?
Commercial property owners in Delaware can receive up to $30,000 in grants from the state to help with the installation costs. When combined with other incentive programs, including at the Federal Solar Tax Credit for commercial properties, your installation costs are significantly reduced. Meanwhile, 25 percent of the cost of the system can potentially be covered by USDA REAP grants, and an accelerated depreciation schedule all help with the installation costs.
Why is Delaware Net Metering important for commercial solar systems?
The goal for solar installers is to design a system which will produce enough power to offset a significant portion of the power needed by its customer. The goal is to produce that amount of power annually but never to make more than is necessary. That said, within the year there will be some months when more power is produced than needed at that time. With Delaware’s net metering policy, your utility company gives your business credit for any excess electricity you send (not sell) back to the grid. When you generate more electricity than you use, you get a credit on your electricity usage—sometimes listed as “New Cumulative Credit”—and this credit is carried forward to your next bill.
How do I know if my building is a good fit for commercial solar?
If you are the building owner and you pay the utility bill, chances are your building is a good fit for commercial solar. Although certain factors, such as shade from surrounding buildings and trees, might make for a less-than-ideal situation, a professional solar installer can visit your site and assess your building.
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