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When do you need solar consultants or solar developers for your PV project?

When it comes to the development of ‘big solar’ or commercial solar you perhaps need more technical research and more investment in terms of money and time. Since solar development may not be your core business, you probably need to hire solar consultants or solar developers to advice you whether solar energy will be the right thing to do based on various factors. These factors could range from solar panel financing, return on investment (ROI), solar PV system performance, interconnection to the grid and what type of solar panels to install. In many cases, when solar developers are called upon it is because of the complexity or the nature of the solar project.When it comes to such types of projects, project development costs could be prohibitive and you might need to consider contacting solar developers whose main job is usually advisory in nature in providing the following advisory or technical services:

  1. Solar financing and return on investment

  2. Solar design and project development

  3. Solar permitting and licensing

  4. Solar interconnection to the grid

  5. Solar plant operation and maintenance

All these aspects of big solar will involve different experts ranging from engineers, architects, finance and regulatory experts while solar developers with such expertise will help you structure your solar PV project to be in compliance with the set design, regulatory and licensing requirements. Different countries have different set requirements and your solar consultants will advise on the different situations presented in those countries.One of the main jobs of solar consultants or solar developers is to structure a solar project that is bankable and with the decreasing solar PV costs in some countries, solar projects are becoming an attractive option especially in regions with good solar irradiation potential. According to IRENA, utility-scale solar PV projects have become cost competitive and are now competing with conventional sources of energy. Solar PV projects with good enabling environments (economic, policy and regulatory) can deliver electricity for just US 5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) without subsidies and costs as low as US 3 cents/kwh according to IRENA.

In addition, solar developers providing economic and regulatory advice, such solar consultants will be able advice on the technology aspects and solar irradiation potential. They will also look at the engineering aspects of the project and advice on the best solar panels to adopt, where to place the solar panels to get optimum solar electricity output, the structural design to consider, and how to avoid system failure or under performance of the PV system. Also, since solar developers are regular customers to solar PV manufacturers, they are better placed to get the best solar panels and at good prices because they have a network of many customers and hence buying in bulk to lower the overall cost of your solar PV technology.

Since the main objective of finding solar developers is to be assisted in developing bankable solar PV projects; getting your solar financing aspects right from the beginning is one of the critical aspects of the such projects. This is because many companies that opt to adopt commercial solar treat these projects as an investment; first to hedge against the increasing electricity prices and second to recoup their investment once a viable project start paying for itself after the pay-back period. There are different instruments or mechanisms that can be used to finance your project depending on the location.

In many countries, governments have designed tax credits, incentive schemes, subsidies and financing companies have loan guarantees to assist the private sector  in reducing the overall burden of going solar. The upfront cost of solar panels can be prohibitive and therefore many solar developers can advice to let solar investors own the technology through solar PPA or solar lease and reduce their financial burden of going solar, but still save on their electricity costs or  improve the image of their company as a green company. However, motivations for companies going solar are different and hence some companies may opt to go with the loan option to save more money in the long-term after the payback period. Payback periods are different in different countries or states where the solar panels are installed.

However, since going solar is a huge step depending on the complexity or the nature of the project, it is worthwhile to be knowledgeable about the solar project before embarking on it. Starting with online solar tools could help you determine whether in actual fact to start the project or not depending on the preliminary results you get while using such free online solar tools. These tools will save you a lot of time and trouble trying to gather all the above information at once.

Online solar tools can provide you with a pre-feasibility analysis will almost near accurate data based on your geographical location. These tools use longitudes and latitudes or geographical coordinates to ascertain how much solar energy your rooftop is likely to produce. These tools pull from different database information such as whether, solar irradiation, and other data to give you a brief on how much you are are likely to save when you decide to go solar.

In the USA, EnergySage, Geostellar, Google Project Sunroof and other companies utilize these tools to help online users in deciding about going solar by just typing in their location. These tools use Google solar map to provide you with your solar potential, savings and connect you with solar developers in your local area.EnergySage has a powerful online platform as it can give you all the information you will need to know about your project.

  1. It will connect you with solar developers including solar installers that are already pre-screened by their system

  2. It will compare different solar quotes from different solar developers or solar consultants

  3. It will compare and advice different solar panels from different solar providers giving you their customer ratings, solar panel efficiency, best solar panels you should consider among many other design specifications of your PV technology.

In-conjunction with  using solar consultants or solar developers; online solar tools will prepare you to make an informed solar decision to supplement the information you will get from your solar consultants or solar developers.  Also online platforms have a database of pre-screened solar consultants or solar developers and will save you the time for sourcing solar developers. Visit EnergySage by clicking here to start your process.

You can also sign up below here to get your free personalized solar report. 

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