11 Jul Commercial Solar Panels In Australia
Australia has been slower to take up the use of commercial solar panels, at least when compared with residential uses despite a potential return on investment with quality systems.
Price of electricity
One of the key factors for getting a return on investment from commercial solar panels is the price of electricity. For businesses, if their electricity consumption is huge such as for large shopping centres or printing companies and they’re only paying 3-5 cents per kWh, it will be much more difficult to achieve the same affordability with commercial solar. Businesses such as carwashes, medical clinics and cafes however with high electricity costs and long opening hours will find that commercial solar systems are an attractive option.
Quality of the system
When it comes to commercial solar panels, even more so than residential systems it is important to choose quality materials and inverters, as the investment involved is significantly larger than for smaller residential systems. Failing equipment, poor maintenance or a provider going out of business could result in businesses being out of pocket.
It is important to read the warranty and the warranty fine print carefully, especially when it comes to dealing with large scale and expensive equipment and technology. Make sure you confirm how the output of the system is guaranteed. How is maintenance managed? Should there be a fault, who is responsible for fixing it, the client, installer or manufacturer? Before committing to anything, make sure you get answers to all relevant questions in writing from your installer and manufacturer.
Find out if you’re allowed to install
Lastly, just because commercial solar panels make financial sense with return on investment, doesn’t mean you’ll actually be able to install them. You’ll need to get permission from local energy companies to install larger systems and connection approvals are not always given. Since the energy option has become more and more popular and began competing with the business of existing electricity suppliers, issues have been raised about connecting to the grid.
Any business looking to install should contact an installer to find out if their business and roof is suitable and to learn what kind of return on investment they can expect as well as to discuss any potential connection or grid issues.
The future of technology
There are many applications for the technology and advances in technology mean that commercial solar panels are a great choice for future focuses businesses.
- The technology is advancing and it is becoming an important contributor to electricity generation in Australia
- The technology is becoming significantly more efficient, there’s an increasing number of locations it can be fitted to, they’re also becoming more tolerant of shading and can be more easily integrated into the design of buildings
- Advanced technologies are even developing which allow for materials to be integrated into fabric and paints
- Energy can increasingly be stored in compact batteries which can be released on low sun days and at night
Although some of the possibilities of commercial solar panels seem out of reach, there are many new applications and scenarios being trialed and the technology is improving all the time.
The cost of the technology has fallen greatly since it was first introduced and with further cost reductions being introduced all the time, it’s an excellent time for businesses to consider introducing the technology.
In Australia when the technology can be added to suitable rooftops, there is a great opportunity for return on investment. Contact installers and manufacturers to find out about the benefits of the technology and learn whether it could benefit your business.