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Developing commercial solar projects – How to get help from solar developers!

Who are solar developers? 

Solar developers assist project owners to develop their commercial solar projects. These professionals are versed with technical, business/finance, legal and project development skills necessary to develop commercial solar projects for the industrial or utility sectors. 

Some common uses of commercial solar power 

Commercial solar presents the industrial sector with opportunities to save money, reduce their carbon footprint as well as improving a company’s corporate social and responsibility (CSR) agenda.

In particular, solar PV technology is seen as a viable option, but since a lot of energy consumed in industries is in the form of heat; solar PV and solar thermal are used in combination to meet the energy requirements or electrical loads of a specific industry. 

Commercial solar can either be installed on the rooftop or ground-mounted. In companies where the rooftop space is limited, ground mounted or putting up rooftop structures in the parking lot usually helps to create space to install your solar panels.

Some common uses of commercial solar include, but not limited to:

  1. Heating water using solar thermal to provide steam required in many industrial facilities.

  2. Cooling or refrigeration and solar water pumping solutions.

  3. Solar PV can be used to charge batteries used for forklift trucks hence reducing energy consumption.

  4. Depending on what electrical loads that an industrial company may have, solar can provide upto 90% of daily energy thus helping to lower significantly any operating costs thereby improving a company’s competitiveness.

  5. Solar PV will be huge in providing lighting solutions for industrial facilities or for street and parking lighting.

  6. Solar PV can be used to run your computer infrastructure system, including your network and server systems.

  7. Solar air conditioning and heating solutions.

These uses are just a few applications of solar PV or solar thermal. One of the main advantage of thinking to go install commercial solar panels is to maintain fixed costs for your power for the next 20 to 25 years. With commercial solar power, you can hedge your energy costs against the volatile costs of diesel or other sources of power.

The size of commercial solar projects may range between 100kW to 500kW for small to medium size solar projects while big commercial solar projects range over 500KW. Although commercial solar, especially small to medium commercial solar projects may have project development challenges since the transaction costs associated with these types of projects are huge and comparable with those of utility scale solar. This increases the cost of financing hence affecting the bankability of small to medium size solar projects.

The role of solar developers in developing commercial solar projects 

As such that’s where solar developers can help companies interested in developing small-medium size commercial solar projects. Solar developers have the knowledge to develop these types of projects from scratch and will advise your project team when it comes to starting such projects. Solar developers are good at:

  1. Proposing financial or project structures to help your project take off

  2. Advising on regulatory and licensing issues surrounding your commercial solar project.

  3. Advice when it comes to grid interconnection

  4. Developing a bankable solar Project

  5. The type of solar panels suitable for your project.

To learn more above solar developers, please visit this article

Online solar tools to connect you with solar developers in your local area.

Before starting a solar project you want to conduct a preliminary analysis to determine costs, potential savings and estimate the solar potential of the commercial solar project. Nowadays with technologies like LiDAR, it is possible to ascertain how much sunshine is hitting your rooftop and hence quantify your solar potential. Visit EnergySage to determine your solar potential, including potential solar savings and how to get finance information about your solar project using online solar tools, like the solar marketplace and solar calculators.

Also, there are various case studies regarding commercial solar projects to help you with first hand information before deciding to start this process. Please visit EnergySage to learn from industry best practices and get advised on how you can start your own commercial solar project.

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