Commercial Solar Panel Systems - 4kW, 10kW, 25kW, 50kW and 100kW

Why consider a commercial solar installation? Because you can benefit from inflation linked returns, save money on running costs as well as lower your carbon emissions.

The Eco Experts work in partnership with local and trusted commercial solar panel installers throughout the UK to help you and your business take the leap into solar energy.

Here’s a quick guide to get you started on the costs and benefits commercial solar can deliver. You can compare free, no obligation quotes by filling out the form at the top of this page.

The benefits in brief

  • Help the environment by investing in solar PV panels and using free clean energy.
  • Save and even make money thanks to government feed-in tariff scheme. The Solar Trade Association (STA) calculates that solar power produces a return on investment of up to 11.4%. That’s better than anything a high street bank would offer. A truly solid business investment!
  • Solar panels fit to your business. Our guide will take you from the small 4kW systems to 10kW systems, up to the large 25kW and 50kW systems. There are a 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 - all the better for your business.

What’s the feed-in tariff?

Let’s get down to businesses. What worries people most about commercial solar panels? The cost. Though installing solar panel systems can cost a huge amount of money, the return-on-investment is actually currently quite significant. This is because of feed-in tariffs (FITs), which is a government scheme that helps you (or your company) save money if you generate your own energy.

It works in three ways:

  • Firstly, you will save money by not paying electricity bills because you’re creating your own energy.
  • The energy company will pay you a generation tariff based on a set rate for each unit (or kWh) of electricity you generate. Once registered, your tariff levels are assured for the period of the tariff (up to 20 years) and are index-linked.
  • Plus, the energy company will pay you an export tariff of 4.77p/kWh for all energy not used, which they can export back to their grid.

Here’s a look at the current rates:

Band (kW)
Generation Tariff from April 2015 (p/kWh)
4 or less
4 - 10
10 - 50
50 - 100
100 - 150
150 - 250
250 - 5000
Stand alone
Export Tariff

Additional facts to keep in mind:

  • Say you pay for your 3000W commercial solar panel installation. Within an estimated 8.6 years you could see payback, and gain an average £6,633 profit in 20 years. So for some businesses, the installation of solar panels can be extremely lucrative.
      • However, note that exactly what you earn 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 sun or do not experience many sunny days, will not benefit as much.
      • Bear in mind that there are caps on the amount of energy that you can sell back to the grid (although these are high) and the amount you will be paid per kilowatt will depend on the size of your solar panel installation and its potential energy output.

          So, how big should I go?

          There are a number of things for you to consider:

          • The size and kilowatt output of the system you will want is very much dependent on your available space and budget.
              • You should also consider the government caps on the generation and export tariffs.

                  The size you pick, therefore, should be decided on per your requirements. Take, for example, the largest solar panel structure in the UK: the 2MW system in Lemington Spa, for the national distribution centre of the buildings group Wolseley. Despite being 13,113m² – roughly the size of two football pitches – the installation is expected to have a payback period of just 6.8 years. Plus the long-term advantages are huge. It could generate £6.5 million over 20 years under the Government’s Feed In Tariff (FIT) for commercial buildings.

                  Commercial solar panel systems are very much a viable option for many businesses even if you don’t have such a large project in mind!

                  Smaller commercial systems: 4kW to 25kW

                  Let’s take a look at the smaller solar systems available and their benefits:

                  • A 4kw system will need between 10 and 20 solar panels, with an initial cost of around £7,000 for the module and installation. But over 20 years, the feed-in payments and electricity savings you make could add up to around £16,000. Plus government payments at the current tariff could get you around £760 in savings and earnings per year.
                  • A 10kw system will cost about £20,000 to purchase and install, and offers returns of about £2,000 per year. That’s 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 you if your company has large energy demands, either due to the nature of your 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, but can still make good financial sense for your company, as various businesses across the UK have discovered.

                  The biggest systems: 50kW, 100kW and beyond

                  Systems larger than 25kW can't be accommodated on existing buildings. Instead this option is for those of you with vacant land, a location such as a farm or another open space.

                  • A 50kW system can be purchased for around £90,000 and deliver upwards of £10,000 a year in income when 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 great way to generate extra income.
                  • If you have enough land you could install an even larger system such as a 80kW, 100kW or even a 200kW system. If this is what you have in mind, we would advise getting accurate pricing, income and installation estimates by talking to one of our Eco Experts.

                  Want to find out more? Explore the site further, fill out the form at the top of the page, or get in contact with us for more information.

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