Ultimate Guide for Commercial Solar Systems in Brisbane

Going Solar is the best way to get rid of those hefty energy bills you get every month. It is a significant investment that gives incredible results in the long run. If you’re thinking of starting a business or you already own one, going solar will be one of the best decisions you have ever made, and take my word for it; you won’t regret it.

To get solar for your business, whether it is a smaller one or a bigger one, you need to have some basic understanding of what solar energy is and what are the steps involved before and after getting a solar system installed. That’s precisely what we will brief you with. Today we will tell you everything about a commercial solar panel installation and how to get one for yourself.

The capacity of a Commercial Solar System

To start our guide to commercial solar panel installation in Brisbane, we will first discuss the significant capacities available for a commercial solar system area.

To categorize, there are mainly three categories of commercial solar systems, which are:

1.    Smaller than 30 kiloWatts

2.    Between 30 kiloWatt to 100 kiloWatt

3.    Greater than 100 kiloWatt

Let’s discuss each of them in detail below:

Smaller than 30 kiloWatts

This is the best size for the small scale business who want to cut down on their energy bills. This size is small compared to regular commercial solar systems, but it will be optimal if you have a smaller property that needs to be equipped with solar power. The best part of going with this size is that it does not require any specialized professionals experts in the commercial solar industry to get this setup. The typical residential installers can easily do this solar panel installation without spending the time and money getting these experts and doing all the paperwork necessary for a more extensive system. A setup of this site will provide you with 120 kWh of energy per day, which can potentially save you $2000 per month on your regular grid’s power bills.

Between 30 kiloWatt to 100 kiloWatt

This is where experts step in to perform their job. In this capacity size, you require the proper help and guidance of professionals to get your system. An added headache is you also need special permission from your grid to connect your commercial solar system to it. The reason behind that is your system generates an immense amount of energy and safeguard the grid from your system. It needs to issue permission based on your system. The best part is you don’t have to do this all by yourself, but your installer will help you with this.

Greater than 100 kiloWatt

This is something only serious business owners with a huge business will require. This setup needs many other added documentation, and the major downside of this is that you are exempted from the govt. STC (small scale technology certificates) rebates when you go this size. It is not like you won’t get rebates altogether, but you will get in the form of yearly payments called LGC’s or large-scale technology certificates (we will talk about this in detail further in the article). This system will cost you a fortune to install, but if you have a big enough business, it will be just a matter of years before this system will pay back.

The cost for commercial solar systems

The cost for commercial solar systems varies majorly from the factors like location, size: quality, and installers. But to give you a general idea about how much you can expect to be spending if you get a system in the range of 20 to 30 kW, you will get a cost of around $700 per kW added to your setup.

But if you decide to bump up to 30 to 100 kW categories, then the cost will rise to $1000 to $1300 per kW of solar panels added to your system. The price rise is due to a system that big requires major engineering of how these panels will be put together in the first place to make them work efficiently, which is unlike in the case of smaller systems. And if you decide to go with the unconventional microinverters and power optimizers to get control on each of your panels, then this cost will rise to 20% more.

Monitoring of a Commercial Solar System

Here comes the part which is generally overlooked by most solar customers, whether residential or commercial, and that’s why it carries utmost importance. A solar system that is not monitored correctly will undoubtedly have less life than monitored and maintained regularly. It will be best if you think of monitoring your system as mandatory, and to do so, you need a ‘good’ energy consumption and energy generation monitor which will track everything about your solar system.

Not most, but some sales guys will try to convince people to buy their generation monitor, which will only track the solar panel’s generation at a much lower price than the normal one. They will try to make you believe it as you know your solar panel’s generation capacity, and you also know your consumption capacity. Hence by doing simple math you can find out how much energy is sent to the grid and how much your solar panels are paying off. But that’s not the case here as your solar panels don’t operate at a hard and fast rule of generating 60 kW of energy every day. Someday they will generate 50 and ultimately even 40 kW. This is because power provided by the sun is inconsistent, panels are aged, or there is dust & pollution. The same is the case with your consumption, as someday, you’ll consume 30, and eventually, you may require 40 kW of energy, and that’s where the ‘simple math’ formula fails. That’s why getting a consumption monitor is necessary, as it will tell you precisely whether your solar setup is paying off or not.

Maintenance of a Commercial Solar System

Talking about the maintenance part, this also carries importance, but reputable installers tend to keep care of it themselves without even bothering you. The Clean Energy Council or the CEC makes it mandatory for a commercial solar installer to give a maintenance schedule to its consumers to make them believe that their panels are working as efficiently as new. That’s why buying from a reputable installer is preferred as they have many benefits against the cheaper ones.

Also, to make a point here, there is a thing going on in the market that if you get your panels washed and maintained by yourself or from a third party, then the installers will consider it as a warranty void from their side. You should clear this point with the installer of your choice, and if it refuses to help you in this, you should leave him straight out as this is a significant way to make more money from the consumers.

Rebates: LGC’s v/s STC’s

To claim the STC’s, there is a significant prerequisite that your system needs to be less than 99 kW in size to become eligible for STC’s, i.e., Small scale technology certificate. This type of rebate is offered as a one-time discount on your solar system at the time of its purchase. This type of rebate is helpful for those who want to have the least upfront cost.

If you get a system above the cap of 99 kW, then you are only eligible for LGC, i.e., Large Scale Technology Certificates. These types of rebates are offered annually based on the generation of your panels. This rebate requires you to install a CEC certified consumption and generation monitor, which will track your energy generation throughout the year. At the end of each year, you will get paid based on what you generated. This cycle will continue up to 10 years, and you will get paid each year. As this is an annual rebate, then you have to pay the entire cost for your solar system upfront without any discounts, which will be a hefty bill to pay. Also, to get it in your knowledge is as the commercial solar systems increases in Australia, so as the LGC rebates decrease. Since Sept. 2019, the LGC started to decline, falling further in the coming years.

Conclusion

There you have the complete guide to getting a commercial solar system in Brisbane. We told you everything you need to know about these ranging from the cost, the capacities, the maintenance, monitoring, and the rebates.

After reading through the guide, your process of getting quotes for commercial solar systems in Brisbane will be easy, and you will be able to decide between them and choose the best for you.

Author: Harsh Patel

Date: August 3, 2021

Tags: Commercial Solar Systems in Brisbane

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