Why Your Company Should Invest in Commercial Solar
The Trend Toward Commercial Solar Adoption
Interest in the benefits of renewable energy is increasing rapidly, resulting in record adoption of solar by corporate decision-makers. A recent Solar Market Insight Report from Wood Mackenzie estimates that commercial PV installations will continue to increase by more than 30% just in 2023. What’s the driving force behind the trend of commercial solar adoption?
Commercial Solar Power Uses & Applications
Energy use in commercial settings can be substantial and, as a result, companies are exploring a variety of options to lower electric bills and reduce their environmental impact. Discover the different types of solar energy systems in use within commercial settings today and the unique benefits that commercial solar energy can yield.
Flat Rooftop Solar Systems
Commercial and industrial (C&I) facilities with large, unused roofs are great candidates for solar. Rooftop solar systems are carefully designed and positioned to maximize exposure to sunlight, without interfering with facility operations that may require access to other rooftop equipment. In addition, rooftop solar systems absorb harmful UV waves, reducing degradation and increasing the longevity of roofs.
Ground-Mounted Solar Panels
In instances where commercial sites have underutilized land, ground-mounted solar systems are a great option. These PV systems can be sized to maximize the use of available areas and match a client’s specific electricity consumption needs.
Parking Lot Solar Systems
Ground-mount and rooftop solar systems are increasingly common. However, there are other innovative ways commercial sites maximize space and take advantage of clean power, such as solar panel canopies that are integrated with parking lots. Parking lot solar systems provide a myriad of benefits for employees such as shaded parking and enhanced lighting.
Which Solar System is Right for Your Business?
The first step C&I property owners and developers should take is connecting with a commercial solar company.
Let the experts analyze the property portfolio, energy use profile, and utility bills in order to identify where solar projects will work best:
What’s Driving Commercial Adoption of Solar?
From financial incentives to showcasing a commitment to environmental sustainability, there are a range of benefits resulting from investments in commercial solar.
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Benefits
Corporate investors are increasingly prioritizing companies that have clearly defined ESG goals and established plans to achieve them. According to McKinsey, investments into sustainable funds rose from $5 billion in 2018 to more than $50 billion in 2020—and then to nearly $70 billion in 2021.
Companies actively working to meet ESG goals are increasingly regarded as forward-thinking industry leaders. Going solar is a straightforward, cost-effective way for businesses to meet their ESG goals, demonstrating their commitment to sustainability.
Solar projects can yield significant financial benefits for C&I customers, which can be enhanced by the availability of state and federal clean energy incentives. By owning a solar system, companies can typically receive federal tax credits – like the Federal Solar Tax Credit (ITC) – that can be applied to their solar systems. The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act increased the amount of tax benefits companies can receive for solar projects of a certain size, and cemented these key incentives for the next decade.
As more green energy mandates and renewable portfolio standards (RPS) are implemented and strengthened over time, state credits and incentives for investing in solar increase as well.
How to Choose the Right Financing Structure for Your Business
There are multiple financing structures to choose from for commercial solar projects. The type of structure that will best suit a company depends on its tax appetite, access to capital, and credit rating, among other factors.
In many cases, there is no upfront cost for going solar, as is the case with a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). In this arrangement, a third-party owns the system and receives tax benefits, while the customer receives green power at a discounted rate over a guaranteed period of time (typically 15-20 years).
Alternatively, companies that are not capital constrained can buy a solar system through a cash purchase, which allows buyers to maintain a high level of control over the project while capitalizing on tax credits or local incentives.
There are several other deal structures available depending on a company’s credit rating and tax appetite. Engaging with an experienced solar developer like Safari Energy is a crucial step in determining the best option for your business and its commercial solar project.
Investing in C&I solar also offers numerous operational benefits. First and foremost, by investing in solar, companies can lock in low, predictable electricity rates for decades, leading to significant operational savings. Solar panels also generally require low amounts of maintenance and can increase a property’s value without altering the structure of the building.
Increasingly, battery storage systems are being paired with solar arrays. Solar-plus-storage facilities offer additional benefits such as improved reliability of electricity supply in areas with outages, and increased potential for greater financial savings with peak load shaving and demand charge reduction.
Partner with Safari Energy to Develop your Commercial Solar Project
The first step toward investing in commercial solar power is connecting with the best energy solutions partner to help your business achieve its unique energy needs.
Safari Energy is the partner of choice for C&I customers, real estate owners, public sector organizations and solar developers who seek competitive financial solutions for their solar projects. To date, our expert team has developed or acquired over 600 commercial solar projects across the country.
We understand what it takes to build and own a successful solar project. Request a no-cost solar consultation with our team today.