A Guide To Commercial Solar Power Systems

by | Oct 17, 2022

Commercial solar panel
Investing in solar for your business can be a boon to future finances and the perception of your brand. Not only can you start to save money on your electricity bills, at a time when they are steadily rising, you can market your brand as a champion of renewable energy.

Whatever your reason for installing commercial solar panels there is no doubt it’ll benefit your business. But where do you start?

Why install a commercial solar system?

Broadly, a commercial system will help to reduce your electricity bills by replacing high peak energy costs with solar power. Commercial solar is particularly viable for businesses operating from 9am to 5pm, eg, cafe shop, shops, manufacturers, clinic etc, as energy can be used right as it’s collected.

Working with an experienced installer, your commercial solar panels can be arranged to ensure maximum coverage and power efficiency throughout the day, providing a steady stream of electricity for the needs of your organisation.

What is the ideal solar system size?

Solar system size will vary according to each business and their day-to-day consumption. The highly-experienced assessors at Solar System Australia can help you determine the right solar setup for your business. However, commercial solar systems are often placed into groups defined by energy thresholds.

  • Under 30kW: Systems with a capacity lower than 30kW fall under the same connection rules as residential setups. Lower-capacity systems can be perfect for newly-established or smaller businesses.
  • 30-100kW: Within this range of solar capacity, special permission needs to be granted by your local electricity provider to connect to the network. In order to acquire permission, your system may need to install a limiter to prevent excess energy from flowing back into the grid.
  • Over 100kW: These installations are suitable for businesses with high energy consumption and should be performed by experienced commercial specialists.
  • How much does a commercial solar system cost?

    The general cost of a commercial solar installation can be tricky to nail down, as each system is different. Some factors affecting the cost of a solar system are materials and components you choose; site special installation needs, eg, an angle bracket required in order to tilt up panels to receive optimum solar lights; cliplok feet needed to protect some type of colorbond sheet.
    Costs will also factor in the need for specialist installation and any additional equipment, such as a grid protection unit as per the network grid’s instruction.

    As with any solar installation, it’s prudent to gather several quotes from reputable installers. This helps to ensure you receive the best possible installation and value.

    What about solar batteries?

    Over the course of the day, your commercial solar panel installation may generate more energy than is used by your business. Normally, this energy would be sent to the grid, with your business receiving a small credit. But what if you could save that energy for future business use?

    The appeal of a solar battery is being able to draw upon a reserve of power when there is lower energy generation, such as on overcast days. While this sounds ideal, solar storage can be an expensive investment. However, there are more and more businesses consider investing in batteries as they can provide emergency power backup supply during power breakout.

    Discuss the possibility of a solar battery with your chosen solar installer.

    The difference between LGCs and STCs

    Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) are a popular form of a solar rebate, providing tradeable certificates that can essentially be used as discounts on the total cost of a system. However, STCs can only be claimed if a solar system is installed by a CEC-accredited installer and if the system in question is under 100kW.

    Installations above 100kW switch from STCs to LGCs, Large-scale Generation Certificates. While still tradeable, LGCs have to be accurately tracked, reported, and claimed each year. They cannot be claimed upfront, like an STC. This is important to keep in mind when determining your financial return and business costs.

    To book your free solar assessment or to discuss your commercial solar setup, contact the experts at Solar System Australia. Call 1800 975 270 or email us at [email protected].

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