The payback on commercial-sized solar power system isn’t quick. In fact, it is a long-term investment and a great way of saving a business from the steady rise of power costs.
For a 10.5kW system which has 42 250W solar panels installed flush on a metal roof, the price would be around $31,000. Now, if your business were to consume all of the solar power produced, the return on investment (ROI) is 14.18% (if your current power price is $0.30/kWh). Since solar power is produced during the day and peaks at mid-day, it is more likely that businesses will consume all of the solar power directly and don’t have to export the power to the grid. This is the ultimate advantage businesses have over residential solar power systems.
In the scenario mentioned above, the payback period is estimated at 7.5 years. If power prices continuously increase at a conservative rate of 4% every year, the payback period would approximately be in 6.5 years. After that, the business can expect free electricity from their commercial solar power system.
With a larger system, you can achieve the benefit of economies of scale. Generally, your ROI will increase and your payback period is lesser if you use a larger system.
Now that we have established the economic advantages of a commercial solar power system, it is also noteworthy to highlight the environmental-friendly attribute of solar power.
If you have ever written a sustainability report, you will know that there are a lot of environmental achievements in the company which are quite hard to report on, such as how much your carbon footprint decreased by encouraging employees to ride their bike to work. With a solar power system, it is 100% measureable down to the very last kilowatt-hour which the system has generated. With these accurate figures, you can measure the exact reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2).
So, is the use of a commercial solar power system a viable option even with today’s economic state and environmental climate? The answer is definitely YES!
Kristy Hoare is the managing director of My Solar Quotes.
Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription, an Idealog t-shirt and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).