4kW, 10kW, 25kW, 50kW and 100kW Commercial Solar Panel Systems
If you want to make money and help the environment, you needn't look much further than investing in solar panels. Not only do solar PV panels generate free clean energy, they also help save and make you money, thanks to government Feed-in-Tariffs.
In fact, most solar panels offer a 8-12% ROI, better than anything a high street bank would offer and solid business investment.
If you are considering the benefits of using solar panels on your commercial property, this handy guide will tell you all you need to know to become greener and richer. We include information on small 4kW to 10kW systems and large 25kW and 50kW systems.
There are number of different types of solar panels but the new polycrystalline and monocrystalline modules can absorb the most amount of energy in the shady conditions the UK is used to. These types of photovoltaic are also much smaller than their predecessors.
The Feed in Tariff
Though installing solar panel systems can cost a huge amount of money, the Return-on-Investment is currently quite significant. The Feed in Tariff is a government scheme that helps you (or your company) save money in three ways if you generate your own energy.
- Firstly, you save money by not paying electricity bills, because you have created your own energy.
- Secondly the energy company will pay a generation tariff (16p per kWh), which is a small sum paid per kW whether the energy is used by you or not.
-Thirdly the energy company will then pay you an export tariff of 4.5p after per kW for all energy not used that they can than export back to their grid.
It is estimated that you will be able to pay for your commercial solar panel installation within 15 years of its installation and then gain the financial benefits for a further 10 years. For some businesses, the installation of solar panels can be extremely lucrative.
It is worth bearing in mind that there are caps on the amount of energy that you can sell back to the grid, though these are high, and the amount you will be paid per kilo watt depends on the size of your solar panel installation and its potential energy output.
It is worth noting that the return per year is very much dependent on how much sunlight your solar panel system receives throughout the day as well as the size of your system. Areas where there is a lot of shade, are not facing the shade, or do not experience many sunny days.
How big should you go?
The size and kilowatt output of the system you want is very much dependent on your available space and available budget. You should also consider the government caps on the feed and export tariffs. The largest solar panel system to be used in the UK is a 200kw system at Worthy Farm,home of Glastonbury Festival.
However, commercial solar panel systems are still a viable option even if you do not have £200,000 to spare! Though it is estimated the returns of the Glastonbury solar installation could be up to £15,000 per year, making an overall profit of £125,000 if the system runs for the 25 years it should.
Smaller Commercial Systems 4kW to 25kW
A 4kw system will need between 10 and 20 solar panels and will generate an income of about £500 per year with an initial cost of around £7,000 for the module and installation.
A 10kw system will cost about £20,000 to purchase and install, and offers returns of about £2,000 per year, a great return rate for any business. Quite large premises are required to install a system providing 10kW, though it can provide the energy needs of many small businesses.
A 25kw system is for those companies who have large energy demands, either due to nature of their work or the size of the operation. Typically warehouses or other very large buildings are required to accommodate such a system. They can cost in the region of £50,000 to install, though can still make good financial sense for many companies and many businesses across the UK have been taking advantage of the financial returns of PV.
The Biggest Systems 50kW, 100kW and Beyond
Most systems larger than 25kW can't be accommodated on existing buildings. Instead they need to be placed on vacant land, often farms or other open spaces. A 50kW system can be purchased for around £90,000 and deliver upwards of £10,000 a year in income if installed in optimal conditions (South facing with no shade whatsoever).
These solar farms have been cropping up all around the South and East of the UK, and are seen by many farmers or landowners as a way to generate extra income.
If you have enough land you could install an even larger system such as a 80kW, 100kW or even 200kW system. However, to get accurate pricing, income and installation estimates you'd have to talk one of our Eco Experts.