How will switching to solar power benefit my business?
From day one solar power offsets a portion of your electricity purchases from your utility and therefore reduces your electric bills. Since there is very little, if any, on-going costs, you also lock in the solar portion of your electricity costs which is a great hedge against inflation and makes budgeting your utility costs a breeze.
You will fully recoup the cost of the solar system long before the end of its useful life. Since most components are warranted for up to 25 years and last for 40+ years, you will be reaping the financial awards for decades to come.
It will improve public perception as you are demonstrating your commitment to a healthier planet. Environmentally conscious businesses are viewed as good neighbors in any community and that can be priceless.
How much does a solar installation cost?
The cost of a system varies on a few factors including the system size and location. In the past four years prices have decreased as much as 40% making solar a financially sound investment. Economies of scale also come into play as larger systems will cost less than smaller system on a per kW basis.
By simply collecting some basic information from you Eagle Point Solar can help you analyze how solar can help you reduce and manage your electricity costs.
What is the process Eagle Point Solar will follow from the sales visit to final commission?
Eagle Point Solar offers an innovative, turn-key solar electric solution offered through a comprehensive process that takes your system purchase from concept to commissioning. There is no faster, easier way to obtain a cost-saving, environmentally friendly solar electric system for your facility.
The major activities included in our end-to-end process include:
- Project goals and objectives development.
- Perform site feasibility studies and rate analysis.
- Engineer a comprehensive, optimized design.
- Manage the project implementation.
- Permitting, including utility interconnection agreements.
- Material purchasing and logistics.
- Construction, installation and commissioning.
- Install real-time, web-based monitoring.
- On-going monitoring, support and maintenance.
How long will the system last?
Although most solar components have a 25-year warranty, they are expected to continue to produce power for 40+ years. There are no moving parts and virtually no maintenance which means longevity also comes with reliability. Major solar module (panel) manufacturers have modules that were installed over 40 years ago and they are still producing clean, renewable energy today!
What is the warranty on your installation?
Most solar components carry a manufacturer’s warranty of up to 25 years. As with any other products you may buy, warranties can be driven by the quality of the equipment you are considering, cheaper equipment can mean shorter warranties.
Eagle Point Solar generally warrants our workmanship for 5 years but extensions of that timeframe are possible.
Is it possible to supply all of my electricity needs with a solar system?
The percentage of the power that you generate is often up to you. As long as you have enough space available to properly mount the solar panels and inverters it is possible to generate most of the electricity you need.
Eagle Point Solar professionals will analyze your site and energy profile to determine how much of your power can be generated by a solar array and system type and design that best fits your needs.
How big of a system do I need?
The size of the solar system you may need should be based on a solar evaluation by a professional integrator or installer like Eagle Point Solar. There are many things to consider like available space, electrical usage, current electric utility and shading so working with an experienced company to evaluate these factors is critical.
Do I need to clean the panels?
Generally there is no need to clean the panels as Mother Nature takes care of that for us in the Midwest. Spring rains and winter snows are the best cleaning the glass on the panels can get. If you are in an extreme environment meaning supremely dusty or dirty, you may need to simply rinse the panels occasionally to keep the glass clean.
How will weather affect my solar array?
Weather plays a role in the amount of power a solar system will generate. Bright sun is obviously the most productive scenario but power is still produced on overcast days. Unless the panel is completely cover by something, it will continue to produce power. Overall production of energy will be the greatest in the summer months only because the number of hours of sunlight are greater than the winter months. Cold winter days actually allow the equipment to operate very efficiently.
Will I need power from my electric company?
In most cases companies like Eagle Point Solar are installing “grid tied” systems because the economics are much more attractive than an “off-grid” alternative. A gird-tied system means you will continue to be connected with your current utility company and most likely still be purchasing some energy from them. Think of a grid tied solar array as simply an energy reduction program which is scalable.
Which direction should my roof face for a solar system?
We know the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, but in our part of the world, it is always to the south of us. So, ideally the closer we can get the panels to facing due south, the better however in most cases we aren’t able to have panels facing directly south and they will absolutely still produce power. You consult a professional installer check your options to mount panels and they will be able to create a solar report for you based on your exact situation.
Do I need to mount the panels on my roof?
Roof mounts are common but there are other options in most cases. Systems can be mounted on a frame that is built on the ground or in some cases single poles can be used as a mounting mechanism. Which mounting or racking system is right for you depends on your location and your facility.
Will I notice any difference in the performance of my facility’s equipment?
A grid tied solar array is synchronized with the existing utility feed into your building. You use the power generated by the solar system first and then if additional energy is needed, the system is intelligent enough to simply pull power through your meter and therefore your equipment will have a full supply of uninterrupted power. There are cases where solar energy is actually “cleaner” than the power from the utility so equipment can run more efficiently. However in most cases your equipment will not know where the electricity is coming from so there will be no difference in its operation.
How does a photovoltaic (PV) system work?
The solar module or panel contains several individual cells which are made largely of two layers of silicon. By design there is an electronic imbalance between the two layers and when the sun’s photons bombard the cell it knocks the electrons loose and they “bounce” from the top layer to the bottom layer creating energy. These bouncing electrons are captured as electricity by metal contacts in the panel.
Since the electricity created inside the panel is direct current or DC, it is necessary to push the current through an inverter which creates alternating current or AC. Once converted this electricity is then routed to your electrical outlets for your use.
What is a grid tiered system?
The system is synchronized with the grid so the power the solar array is generating is used first and then if necessary, additional power flows through the meter just like it always has in the past. If you are generating excess power, this power flows back through your meter and back to the utility for them to sell to another customer. The utility company will generally compensate you for this electricity either through “net-metering” or by paying you an “avoided cost” for your excess power. You can call your local utility company to find out what their policy is regarding over production or simply call Eagle Point Solar and we can provide you with this information.
What is an off-grid system?
An off-grid system is a solar array that is not connected to the power grid. In most cases, the power that is generated by the solar panels is sent to a storage receptacle like a battery and the facility then consumes the power from the battery. The capacity or size of the battery bank determines how often the battery needs to be charged by the solar array in order to provide you with an uninterrupted source of power. Battery technology is advancing but can still be rather costly to install and therefore, a majority of the solar systems installed in our area are grid tied systems.
If I have a grid tiered system, will I lose power in a black-out?
Grid tied systems are required to have built-in shut down mechanisms in the event of to a power outage. Although a power outage may seem like the perfect time to be self-generating your own power, you must understand that if you are generating power you could be sending power back to the grid and risking the lives of anyone working on the lines trying to restore power. It is also vital that in the event of a fire and power loss, the fireman can be assured that the solar array is not producing power as they are doing their job.
What commercial solar incentives are available?
Solar incentives do change regularly so depending on which state you live in and when you are asking the question, the answer could change. However, the constant for business incentives are a 30% federal tax credit and a 5 year MACRS depreciation schedule. If your business is located in Iowa, you can receive an additional 15% state tax credit.
Eagle Point Solar spends countless hours researching any available incentives so please call for the latest available information.