More and more businesses are making an investment in solar power—in Australia and around the globe. This article takes a look at solar power for businesses in and around Sydney, NSW, explaining why so many companies are taking an interest in solar, as well as some of the key considerations a business will need to make when deciding on a system.
The benefits of solar power for businesses in Sydney
Why are more companies considering solar?
If you live in Sydney, or anywhere else in NSW—or anywhere in Australia, for that matter—you’ve felt the sting of rising electricity prices. Electricity prices have jumped tremendously in just the past few years. If you’re reading this article, like many Australians you’re probably interested in looking for a way to reduce your power bills.
Thanks to falling costs, one of the most popular ways to go about cutting power bills in recent years is solar panels. A typical solar PV system in Sydney, if sized & used appropriately, will pay for itself in as little as 5 years.
At the beginning of the NSW’s solar power boom (which was primarily residential), most interest in solar power was driven by state government feed-in tariff incentives. These incentives paved the way for a massive expansion of the solar market in the state, and the resultant competition (in combination with other local & global factors) brought down system prices significantly. Now, Australia is home to some of the most affordable solar PV system prices in the world, and businesses are taking advantage of this fact.
Key considerations for getting a solar system for your business in Sydney:
–Is there any shading from nearby buildings or trees that could fall on a solar panel array on your roof? Shading cast on solar panels can have adverse impacts even if only 1 panel is affected.
–How much power does your business use during daylight hours? Unless you can also afford an energy storage system, you’re best off trying to consume as much of the solar power that your solar array produces while it is being produced. This is because you stand to save more money from self-consuming your solar power than from selling to the grid.
–What size solar system will best suit your needs? Taking a look at a recent power bill might give you some idea (estimate what percentage of your power usage occurs during daylight hours) but a detailed analysis will probably eventually be required–especially if you consume a lot of electricity and your power bills are large. As a rule of thumb, 1 kilowatt (kW) of solar capacity in Sydney will generate on average about 3.7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per day (more in summer less in winter). So a 10kW solar system will generate 37kWh of power per day. 10kW, however, tends to be the smallest system size for a business–much larger systems are quite common. Depending on the size of the business in question, a 20kW system, 30kW system, 50kW system or even a 100kW solar system or larger could be the right fit.
–What components are best to use in your system? Make sure you shop around and that the components your installer uses don’t come from a fly-by-night company. There are plenty of reputable panel & inverter brands out there–educate yourself to know what they are. Choosing quality, trustworthy components will be key in ensuring strong returns and minimal system downtime. A solar system has few moving parts and is therefore a very low-maintenance piece of equipment, but remember that every time something fails, you are faced not only with the problem of replacing it, but also with the fact that the system is not producing power.
–How much will a solar system cost? In addition to determining which components are suitable for a solar system for your Sydney business, you’ll also need to be able to determine what price is appropriate to pay for them. System price will vary with the size of the system and and the components used, of course, but it is not unreasonable to find systems that register at around $1.70 per watt (W)–or lower. Systems up to 100kW in capacity are eligible for what is in effect an up-front discount (not technically a discount, but this is the easy way to understand it) off the cost of having the system installed through the federal Renewable Energy Target. Larger systems are not eligible for this incentive up-front incentive but can create tradable certificates on an ongoing basis which whey can sell on a marketplace (learn more).
Compare solar installation options for your business in Sydney, NSW
Shopping around for a system installer and getting a grip on what options are out there can require a huge amount of effort and energy. Solar Choice Commercial, with a network of over 100 of the most prominent solar installers across the country, works with businesses all around Australia–including Sydney and surrounds–to help them find the best installer and price for their needs. To date, we have assisted thousands of companies in making an informed decision about going solar.
If you’re interested in learning more about solar power for your business, fill out the Quote Comparison Request form to the right of this page (click ‘Commercial’ at the top) or get in touch with our commercial team.
Examples of commercial solar tenders managed by Solar Choice Commercial:
Blacktown Sports Club, 99kW solar system
Blacktown Workers Club, 99kW solar system
Top photo credit: Amy McIntyre
© 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd