Business & Commercial

What is Business and commercial solar energy?

As more people become conscious of the climate crisis that is upon us, many businesses and commercial organisations are asking “what can we do?”
One thing may be to use the space owned by the business to generate renewable energy. Solar fits well onto most roofs with a south or even east/west aspect. Carparks can be covered with solar carports, that not only develop electricity but shade the cars beneath to reduce the energy load on air conditioning systems when they are driven away.
Green space surrounding the building may be suitable for ground-mounted panels. There are many possibilities.
The best returns come from installations that can provide the electrical needs of the building without exporting too much excess. Sizing the system to suit the electrical demand gives the best return on investment.
Storage can also be installed to spread the availability of the energy generated beyond daylight hours or to provide a way of buying cheap electricity over-night and using during peak times.

Why install renewable energy?

Renewable energy can give many benefits to an organisation:

Net-zero
More and more consumers are making buying choices that include the environmental impact a company is having. Many organisations have declared a climate emergency and are installing renewable energy to help them meet carbon neutral targets quickly and efficiently. A large renewable energy installation is a very visible way to show the world you’re doing something to make a difference.
[The carbon dioxide released in the making of a PV system is typically paid back within two years in northern Europe (using good quality panels etc). Using the energy made on site is truly zero-emission after this period]

Cost-saving
Sizing the installation to meet the needs of the business means that all the power produced can be used on-site, with no or minimal export. This will reduce the need to purchase electricity from the grid.
If storage is added (e.g. batteries) energy can be traded to maximise return on investment, or offset to reduce the cost of buying in power at peak times.

Commercial rates vary, but the right-hand scale gives an idea of how pricing moves during the day (in pence/kWh) [source – Octopus Energy ]

Public image
Installing solar panels is a visible sign that your organisation cares. Many people make buying choices based on the green credentials of a business. A growing number of people want to be part of an organisation that uses renewables – given a choice of employers, many will choose the one that is trying to reduce its carbon footprint.

How do we make it happen?

We only work on projects that return on investment. We are not interested in selling you a system that does not give value for money over its lifetime. We spend time in the design phase making sure we offer you the best possible solution.

  1. You give us the address of the site and what you want to achieve from the project. If you have a site layout & building drawings, even better.
  2. You give us your electricity bills for the year, or the half-hourly data if you have it (We can get this for you from your electricity supplier with your written consent).
  3. We do a desktop analysis of the site, looking at roof aspect, shading, access, etc.
  4. We model the system to work out how many panels can be fitted, size the inverters, work out cable runs, etc. This gives us a performance model over a typical year.
  5. We calculate equipment & installation costs and prepare a financial (ROI) model.
  6. We present you with a written proposal.

We can come and present the findings to key decision-makers, boards, etc if needed if that helps get things going.

If you decide to proceed, we will do a detailed survey, get engineers reports (if applicable) and more detailed quotes, advise & help you with any planning applications required, obtain DNO approvals, etc.
We will then give you a fully defined project plan and detailed costings we can all work with.

We manage the project installation phase from start to finish:

  • Prepare risk assessments and method statements
  • Liaise with on-site staff on delivery times and drop locations
  • Arrange for access scaffolding, cranage, etc. as needed
  • Purchase all materials and schedule just-in-delivery
  • Manage all sub-contractors ensuring they are correctly qualified, insured, etc.
  • Manage electrical isolations, work permits, etc as needed
  • Commission the system to MCS requirements
  • Register the system with DNO, building control
  • Set-up online monitoring portals if supported by equipment manufacturers.
  • Provide a system manual to MCS standard