Why invest in a solar system for your business?
Electricity prices have significantly increased over the last few years, resulting in increased operational expenses for businesses. On the other hand, the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems has declined, making solar an increasingly affordable option for businesses. By installing a PV system, you will be able to offset your electricity consumption and hedge against future price rises.
What are the different systems?
Stand-alone Solar PV Systems
Depending on where your business is located, you may wish to install a stand-alone solar PV system. Stand-alone systems are not connected to the electricity grid and are typically installed in remote areas where there is limited connection to the grid, or areas of low electricity demand. Unlike grid-connected systems, stand-alone systems must have batteries or a back-up generation to provide supply at night. In many cases stand-alone systems will also be backed up by a diesel or petrol generator to supplement energy supply.
Grid-connected Solar PV Systems
Solar PV systems that are connected to the grid operate by transforming the electricity generated by the solar system (which is direct current (DC)) into alternating current (AC) electricity using an inverter, so that the power generated is compatible with the grid and ordinary business needs. Businesses with solar PV systems use solar power first before sourcing electricity from the grid. When the panels are not producing enough power to meet load requirements the balance is drawn from the grid. This would be the case at night or on an overcast day. According to Australian Safety Standards, if the grid is down, for example during a blackout, the inverter will shut down and the solar system will not produce any energy. For systems with a battery backup, the inverter regulates the charge of batteries. The electricity stored in the batteries can be used at night or during blackouts.
Is solar right for my business?
the cost and return of a solar system varies greatly depending on a number of factors, including the amount of energy your business uses, as well as where your business is located and your current agreement with your electricity provider. As a general rule of thumb, solar energy is particularly useful for facilities with high daytime electricity use as you can offset the peak electricity prices with your solar energy system. However, there are also Battery solutions so that if you don’t consume your energy during sunshine hours, you can store this energy for a later use.
Here at Solgen, we complete a free feasibility and business case assessment to ensure solar will deliver significant electricity savings to your facilities and will assist you in cutting operation costs.
How much does it cost?
The cost of a solar system depends on a number of different factors including, the size of the system, the type of solar panels being installed, shading or complex installations as well as any funding that is available to your location or industry.
Here at Solgen, we can provide you with a comprehensive proposal that details all of these items so that you are assured you are getting the best price for your system.
Is government funding available and how does it work?
The federal government have two systems for granting funds for the implementation of solar systems, which are broken up into two different groups. One are STCs (Small-scale Technology Certificates), which only apply to systems under 100kW and depending on the size of the system and location of the system give a number of certificates to a system for which a one-time monetary value can be obtained. The second are LGCs (Large-scale Generation Certificates), these apply to systems at or over 100kW where a monetary value is calculated and distributed to a company each year. Both of these systems are applied for via the Clean Energy Council, for which Solgen can assist.
What about other finance options?
On top of assisting in obtaining the maximum amount of funding available, Solgen also work with a range of finance partners to give you options with zero upfront costs.
Lease your solar
Whether you’re a small business or large multi-national, owning your own system may not be the right decision. Businesses can lease a solar power system for a particular amount of time. The finance provider owns the asset and you can lease it from them for an agreed period, making fixed monthly repayments. A substantial benefit to leasing is the availability to deduct full payments for income tax purposes. At the end of the term you can choose whether to continue leasing and benefitting from clean energy, purchase the system or end your lease.
Our exclusive partnerships with Australia’s leading financial institutions allow us to offer flexible finance options to suit any business’s needs. These options can be as simple as utilising savings from the introduction of solar power to pay off the system over a flexible term avoiding large upfront costs, purchasing upfront or simply leasing the system when you need it.
Finance to own
If leasing doesn’t fit your requirements, you can select finance to own the system immediately, known as a Chattel Mortgage. Making fixed monthly repayments, at the end of the term the clear title for the asset will be transferred to your business. In most circumstances, small businesses can also apply an immediate $20,000 upfront asset tax deduction on a solar power system.
Power purchase agreement (PPA)
If your business doesn’t need to own the solar power system but wants to benefit from clean, cheaper energy then a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) will work. Solgen will install a customised system and you will only pay for the electricity produced. With no upfront costs and flexible arrangements, energy cost savings begin immediately.
Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUAs)
Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUAs) facilitate finance to implement environmental improvements to existing commercial and industrial buildings. Property owners, councils and finance providers voluntarily enter into the EUA whereby the building owner can access the funds upfront and repayments are made via council levies.
What are feed-in tariffs and how do they work?
Feed-in tariffs are used when a system produces more electricity than can be consumed with the extra amount going back onto the grid to be used by other consumers. Electricity retailers will pay you an agreed amount per kilowatt hour that then goes back into their network. Your local DNSP (Distribution Network Service Provider) may dictate that a system must be zero export i.e. must not generate excess energy to reduce any adverse impacts with the network, while still allowing users to offet their consumption, so it is important to check with your network provider before installing solar the conditions.
At Solgen Energy Group, our relationship with network providers across the country ensures that we can advise you on the best course of action and how to get the best rate for your business.
What is the installation process?
Solgen Energy Group is dedicated to being with you through every step of installation.
Firstly, our team of project managers will finalise your solar design to ensure you are happy with the expected outcome. We will also work with you to ensure that installation is achieved with limited down-time and at a convenient time for you. We will schedule this into our system and send out a team of installers to your site. We will also manage the relationship with your grid-supplier to ensure all approvals and grants are in place to ensure that your system is installed as quickly and as seamlessly as possible so that you can experience the real return on investment of having a solar system. To finish it off we will do a handover and train you on how to operate the solar power system and should you have any issues after installation you can contact our support team at anytime.