Solar energy installations are increasingly being utilized by commercial customers who own or manage office buildings, retail stores, strip malls, warehouses and industrial manufacturing facilities. Some commercial businesses have even built small solar fields that are adjacent to their facility. The reasons to install solar power systems could be a company’s sincere commitment to environmental concerns or it could be to build their brand with staff and clients by showing their commitment to the environment. Practically speaking installation and ongoing operating costs are often far more important to a business then concerns for branding or the environment. A perfect solution is one that benefits the environment while contributing to lower operating costs and enhancing profitability.
A number of industry factors have converged to make these multiple corporate objectives entirely possible in benefitting both the environment and the bottom line:
- The price of solar photovoltaic panels has decreased substantially due to greater efficiencies in manufacturing and in the technology itself combined with increased competition among a growing number of suppliers.
- The performance and productivity of the latest technologies throughout a solar power system have significantly improved such that cost savings are being realized immediately.
- These performance characteristics translate to an attractive return on investment schedule with a significantly shortened payback period for the end user for a system that will last up to 25 years.
- With the rapidly expanding movement towards Net Metering and Distributed Power Processing TM solutions, commercial entities can realize further cost benefits by installing their own solar system and selling their unused produced energy back into the regional power grid.
- Initial capital expenditure costs can be mitigated or eliminated entirely by leasing the solar power system and then incorporating EarthStar’s software platform to manage the flow of the power required to run their business and the excess power that can be sold
back to the grid.
- Commercial customers can enter into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in which the installer pays the costs to acquire, permit, install, finance and usually maintain, monitor and service the solar power system. The installer owns the system, has rights to the electricity generated and enjoys the tax benefits and rebates, if any. The company that owns the host property negotiates a set rate for electricity, typically a rate below current market, from the installer and gets the benefit of lower and more predictable energy bills.
- Governments with limited budgets available to purchase solar power systems can incorporate Power Purchase Agreements. This application clearly demonstrates their commitment to the environment and reduction of their carbon footprint while accruing significant financial benefits
EarthStar works with these governments and global organizations to better understand the factors motivating their interest and potential purchase decision to utilize solar power applications and solutions. EarthStar’s proprietary roof top Solar Trackers, ground based Solar Trackers, hybrid inverter series combine to create the most energy per capex dollar of any solar power system on the market today.