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Two men installing commercial solar panels
By - Allen

Should You Get Commercial Solar Panels?

Is your business paying huge electricity bills? If you can afford to pay for your power, then you’ll likely be able to afford the cost of purchasing and installing commercial solar panels too. Having commercial solar panels installed can be highly cost-effective and can save you a lot of money in the long run. Commercial solar panels are actually an ideal fit for most businesses because they usually operate between 9am to 5pm when electricity charges are at their highest, unlike the average household which is at its most active after work hours when peak charges usually aren’t in effect.

So, if you’re considering commercial solar panels, what do you need to remember?

Three different system sizes

Under 30 kW

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that there are three different system size ranges. The one that your business needs will depend on the size of your operation and your electricity needs. Systems that are less than 30 kW are usually used for residential buildings. They have hardware that can be connected to the existing grid and are much simpler to install. Businesses that don’t require larger systems will usually find installation cost is quite low and on average can typically expect to save around $2000 a month in electricity.

30 kW to 100 kW

Systems that are between 30 and 100 kW are usually reserved for larger businesses. Systems of this size will require permission from the electricity grid network in order to connect to the grid. If you’re planning on installing commercial solar panels of this size then it’s recommended that you go through a provider who specialises in systems of this size.

100 kW and over

Systems over 100 kW are considered to not be eligible for the STC rebate but can receive a different kind of subsidy known as the LGC subsidy. This subsidy is paid out every year and is based on the amount of electricity that the system generates. This can add some extra complexity for businesses and usually requires the installation of a meter in order to claim the rebate. Systems of this size are usually seen on hotels, warehouses and wineries.

Over 250 kW

Systems over 250kW are quite large and usually require the expertise of a specialist installer of commercial solar panels who has an understanding of the engineering requirements for a system of that size. Usually, systems of this size are reserved for large shopping centres and other big buildings.

Connecting large systems to the grid

So, if you need large commercial solar panels, how do you go about getting them connected to the grid? Firstly, the network will need to approve connection to the grid in writing. For large systems these approvals are usually issued with restrictions or certain conditions place on them. This is important to note as it can sometimes add a lot of extra cost and can cut into your projected savings. Some of the less reputable installers may not let you know about this and it can leave you facing some nasty surprise costs later on down the road.

For this reason, it’s very important that you get a complete quote before going ahead with any work and it’s also a good idea to seek the opinion of an independent third-party if possible. It’s also important to remember that you may need to get council approval before you proceed with the install of any commercial solar panels. Unfortunately, it can be quite a big process for larger business, but the cost savings are usually well worth it.

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