Solar power planning meeting

Every day, more and more businesses — both large and small — are turning to green energy to power their needs. As the leading, most affordable source of renewable energy, solar power is one of the best cost-conscious solutions for businesses looking to go green. Before learning how to effectively install solar power in your business, however, it’s important to understand what factors make for a perfect solar power set up.

Solar Power Factors To Consider

First of all, your solar power system’s ability to produce power depends on how many panels you invest in and the efficiency of each panel. By measuring your business’s square footage of available, adequate space, you can decide how many panels you’ll need.  You can also determine if you can accommodate several standard panels or just a few that do their job really well.

For businesses that want to implement green energy but aren’t ready to commit to solar panels, there are several alternative options like tankless solar powered heaters or solar water tanks. Installing even just a few solar powered garden lights is also a great way to get started.

Commercial solar power installation
When exploring your best solar power options for your business, you’ll need to determine if leasing the solar panels or signing a power purchase agreement is more beneficial for you. Image Credit: Alison Hancock / Shutterstock

Lease vs. buy: What’s your best option?

When exploring your best solar power options, you’ll need to determine if leasing the solar panels or signing a power purchase agreement is more beneficial for you. These two options are fairly similar in the fact that they both involve renting a solar system from a solar installation company and having locked prices throughout the duration of a contract agreement that can last anywhere from seven to 20 years.

Leasing and buying do, however, have a few significant differences. Let’s take a look.

  • In a solar lease, you’ll pay a fixed monthly amount for the energy you used that was produced by the solar power system. These are typically medium-term agreements, ranging from seven to 18 years, and they offer zero-down installation. Be sure to note that with a solar lease, you don’t actually pay for the power your solar panels generate. Instead, you’ll be paying for leasing the panels and any extra power you’ll need or want to buy from the solar company. Simply put, with a solar lease, you’ll pay no money down but your leasing fee will increase by two-to-four-percent each year and you’ll pay any leftover utility bill.
  • In a Power Purchase Agreement you’ll pay strictly for the amount of solar powered electricity you want. These long-term agreements range from 10 to 20 years and offer a low, upfront cost. With a PPA, you’ll be charged a secure per-unit electrical price that’s usually measured in kilowatts. Overall, you’ll pay a small cost for installation, but the rate per-unit will remain fixed throughout the agreement.

Additional Tips For Solar Success

When researching the best solar solution for you, keep in mind the following tips for utilizing solar energy.

  • Solar panels need regular maintenance to keep them working as long as possible. Talk with the solar company about monthly inspections and cleaning requirements.
  • Consider installing solar panels that can be repositioned depending on the season. While fixed angle panels are still a solid option, they aren’t nearly as efficient as panels you can adjust to get the most sunlight throughout the entire year. Sun-tracking panels, for example, will automatically adjust their angle in relation to the position of the sun and, though they may be a bit pricier than traditional panels, they are an ideal investment.
  • If you opt to lease your solar panels instead of purchasing a power agreement, be sure that the contract allows you to transfer the lease to other people. If you decide to sell your home, for example, you don’t want to be paying for energy you’re not using.

Overall, solar energy is a great solution for businesses looking for alternative means of power. By keeping these important tips and considerations in mind, you can choose the best solar power solution for you.

About the Author

Hayden Beck is a freelance writer that contributes content to multiple online publications. Recently, he has worked with Legend Solar. Hayden’s focus includes writing about solar power and green industry trends. Hayden is committed to helping individuals learn more about renewable energy and new bio-technologies

Feature image credit: / Shutterstock 

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