Commercial Solar and Energy Insights and News

Optimising commercial solar

In commercial settings, a solar PV installation alone is seldom a complete solution.

Similarly, battery storage can be a valuable addition to a commercial solar installation, but is not yet at a stage of being a cost-effective option for all businesses.

To get the mix right and produce an optimal benefit, a more holistic approach is needed. Detailed understanding of the site and systems is needed before determining the viability of solar and/or storage solutions.

Most high energy-use businesses have many different areas in which potential improvements and savings can be made. Usage of heavy machinery, refrigeration, airconditioning, and heat-intensive equipment, all contribute to the mix.

Based on the business type and activities, time of use and load profiles, we compare the business to typical consumption levels in similar businesses.

However, before recommending specific usage-related improvements, we also examine other key site characteristics: for example, power factor (the ratio of real to apparent power in the circuit), as well as voltage in the incoming power supply. These are often found to be incorrect, adding to equipment maintenance costs and possibly safety risks, as well as energy usage.

Almost invariably, there are multiple improvements that can be made, with varying impact and involving different levels of investment.

Our planned approach enables you to sequence and budget appropriately for these improvements and gives you the data to measure and evaluate them continuously.

This means that any recommended solutions such as solar PV installations can be scaled to deliver short-term ROI while also providing capacity for easy later expansion, or addition of battery storage, as storage technology matures and becomes increasingly cost-effective in commercial applications.

Specialised energy finance solutions including loans, lease finance and solar “power purchase agreements” (PPA) are also available options and can be considered at this stage to minimise or eliminate the capital outlay required to implement specific improvements.

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