Commercial Solar Power Installation

Installing a solar energy system can be an optimal way to reduce the cost of your facility’s electric utility bills. Starting with a free consultation, NXTGEN Clean Energy Solutions can help you assess your requirements, out-of-pocket costs, and likely payback period – with no obligation to move forward.

Matching Electrical Requirements with Capacity to Generate Power

Understanding the balance between energy requirements for your business and the amount of space available for solar power generation equipment is often the starting point for a discussion when we consult with municipalities and businesses looking to install commercial PV (photovoltaic) solar cells to generate electricity. A commercial or municipal entity with significant roof coverage can likely benefit from installing and using energy from solar cells. Unused ground areas and parking lots can also be utilized for ground mount or solar canopy arrays.

One example of a large-scale, municipally-backed solar energy development is currently underway in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati civic leaders are developing what has been referred to as the largest municipal solar array in the country. The project is called New Market Solar and is scheduled to launch in December 2021.

According to Yasmin Chilton, a spokeswoman for Mayor John Cranley’s office, “The New Market Solar project will contain more than 310,000 solar panels – equivalent to the size of 750 football fields.”

This new solar cell field has been designed to generate 203,000 megawatt-hours of energy annually. This is enough to power 100% of the city of Cincinnati’s electricity consumption for all city-owned and operated services. In addition, the solar panels will also help to power 80,000 homes that have opted-in to get renewable energy. Those homes are expected to receive about 25% of their electricity via the renewable energy source.

The concept of shared resources (for example across a municipality’s infrastructure) as highlighted in this Cincinnati example is allowing for multiple locations to band together to share costs of engineering and installation.

While it would be ideal to have your business run entirely based on self-generated power and this is the goal, our clients are typically able to offset a significant portion (60% to 85%) of their current cost of electricity via the collection and storage of solar energy.

In addition to the rooftop of a facility, another property feature to consider at a business or warehouse is a large parking lot. Building solar carports over your lot can provide a significant amount of energy without losing valuable parking space. Your customers or tenants get shade and protection from the elements while you produce electricity for your own use or to transfer back into the grid.

Covering the roofs of buildings with solar PV and installing covered parking using solar PV to provide shade is likely to become the standard of design/build within the coming two decades.

Calculating the Solar Cell Dimensions that Fit on Your Roof

Solar energy potential for an individual rooftop is based on its size, shading, tilt, location, and construction. Satellite maps, irradiance data, equipment specifications, and other factors inform the bids that installers present to customers to assist them in understanding the potential costs and benefits of solar panels on their roof.

One of the tools available to initiate a viability study for rooftop installation is Aurora Solar Inc.’s web-based application that quickly calculates the solar potential of a building’s rooftop. The application uses image recognition and computer vision algorithms to assess and compare many potential sites.

Subsidies Available to Reduce Costs

Federal, State and utility subsidies and incentives can help defray some of the initial costs of equipment acquisition and installation, as well as longer-term costs such as the ongoing maintenance of solar power cells.

Currently, in 2021, a 26% federal investment tax credit (ITC) is among the most important incentives currently available for solar PV.

The following PDF fact sheet on the tax incentives for photo voltaic PV cells was developed by The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. This office supports early-stage research and development to improve the affordability, reliability, and performance of solar technologies on the grid.

Payback

The typical payback period for a commercial solar array is about 10 years, but multiple factors influence this timetable. Chief among these factors is whether the installation will be a ground, carport, or rooftop-based installation. In addition, sizing and calculated energy production factors include roof shape, surrounding buildings, and regional variability in atmospheric conditions (think cloud cover here).

Solar generated power capabilities and public policy differs across state lines and regions; NXTGEN Clean Energy Solutions is committed to understanding and advising on the emerging capabilities in solar energy generation and storage in the areas we serve.

NXTGEN, acting as your guide to developing requirements and proposals for Solar Cell installation, Battery Backup systems, and EV Charging stations, can help your company, institution, or municipality understand the process of developing a successful commercial solar energy installation. We encourage you to reach out for a no obligation free consultation today.

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