Commercial Solar Panels
Commercial solar power systems are an effective way for businesses to reduce operating costs. Despite the common belief that solar panels are expensive, solar panels for commercial purposes are affordable and can save money in the long run. This short guide outlines the key things you need to know about commercial solar systems.
Commercial Solar Panels Come in a Range of Sizes
Commercial solar panels are much larger than residential panels due to the power they need to produce. Unlike residential power systems which are most heavily utilized before 9am and after 5pm, commercial power systems need to perform between business hours.
Residential solar panel systems consist of around 20 panels on average, which is equivalent to a 6kW system. Commercial panels, however, come in the following sizes:
- Up to 30 kW
The smallest commercial solar panel systems consist of up to 100 panels and produce up to 120kW of energy per day. Given these systems are on the smaller side, they use the same structures as residential systems. This means that they also fall in the residential categories for installation and utility company purposes, making it easier to get them connected.
- 30 to 100kW
Solar panel systems in this category require special set up to allow them to manage this much electricity. A local electricity provider also has to provide permission for a system of this size to be connected to the grid. This size solar panel system is typically used for medium-sized offices or sporting clubs.
- 100kW to 250kW
These systems generate a large amount of energy and are generally used for wineries, hotels or large companies. Commercial solar panel systems of this size require their own meter and power usage needs to be reported annually in order to get a rebate.
- Over 250kW
These solar systems are huge and are only really used for shopping centres or equivalent sized buildings. A specialist in large solar panel systems is highly recommended for installing systems of this size.
Large commercial solar panel systems need permission to be connected to the grid
All systems over 30kW need to have specific permission to be connected to the grid. It is important to have the approval details in writing so that you are aware of any conditions that may come with the agreement. Some of these conditions will require additional technology, resulting in greater up-front investment. It is best to go with a reputable solar panel company who are transparent with all of these costs.
The Cost of Commercial Solar Panels
The costs of commercial solar panel systems vary greatly depending on the size and its unique requirements. To provide a general figure, a smaller system (20-30kW) of high quality would be expected to cost approximately $700 per kW.
Something a bit larger (30-100kW) will cost a bit more due to size as well as additional network costs. A system of this size would typically cost between $1,000 and $1,300 per kW. It is important to seek quotes from different solar panel suppliers before making a purchase.