Commercial Solar

We offer a full scale design, supply, installation and commissioning of commercial PV projects. Our commercial solar projects range from anywhere between 50KWhp to 15MWhp. We can accommodate any size project anywhere in the world and in most environments. Solar PV Frames in rural areas are the most common source of large commercial solar PV generation and can offer systems as high as 150 MW. We can accommodate these systems in a ground mount form by using concrete pads, ground screws or we can use a pod based system.

Other commercial solutions are the roof tops of factories and large industrial or commercial buildings. These systems can be designed to accommodate the use of the business either by combining with battery storage, reducing the cost of EV charging stations or by grid tie schemes with direct usage. These can offer huge savings for businesses that can accommodate the roof space. We are all about problem solving to find a solution to most roof problems including weight and wind loadings.

Key benefits of Commercial Solar

Cost savings - solar panels generate free, green electricity during daytime hours which can be used on site to lower your business demand for energy from the grid. Using solar energy can potentially save your business thousands of pounds on energy bills.

Solar income - ideally you would use all the solar power onsite, however, any surplus power can be sold to the grid gaining your business additional income.

Financial stability - energy prices are predicted to rise sharply in the next 10 years and commercial solar panels will allow a business to effectively forward buy their electricity at a set price, making financial forecasting much easier.

Low risk investment - Solar PV is a reliable and safe investment that provides returns exceeding those of traditional low risk financial products.

Energy security - the grid is struggling to generate significant electricity supply to meet the UK’s growing energy demands. The government has recently introduced mandatory energy audits for large businesses via the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and possible future energy usage regulation which will undoubtedly affect businesses. Solar installations are an excellent backup measure and would offer businesses a solution to the ESOS regulations.

Lower carbon footprint - Generating your own solar energy will significantly reduce company’s carbon footprint, increase your sustainable credentials which, in turn, will improve your business reputation.

Planning considerations

When considering installing a large scale commercial solar panel PV array it will be important to consider the aesthetic impact it will have on the surrounding area. Although solar is less conspicuous than wind turbines, solar fields have still provoked very strong opposition by groups concerned over their effect on the landscape.

The ability to obtain planning permission has to, therefor, be a central consideration when thinking about installing a solar field. Unlike small domestic or commercial installations all large scale projects will require planning approval from the local authority. The ultimate planning decision will be based on a range of factors, including visual impact (glare, size, height, etc), the potential benefits it could bring to the local community, the array’s impact on the local ecosystem as well as how close it is to the electricity grid connectivity.

There will be a planning application fee which is usually dependent on the size of the proposed solar site and each local authority will have its own guidelines on their fees. The LA will want to perform a site visit when assessing a planning application as well as canvassing opinion from the local area to gauge their reaction to the proposals.

Commercial solar fields and farms

Solar PV is an attractive proposition for homes and business owners who want to save on energy bills and produce clean energy. Solar PV technology is increasingly becoming a more popular way of producing profit from larger pieces of land.

There are an increasing number of landowners across the UK, especially those in southern England where solar irradiation is at its highest, that are installing PV panels on their land in the form of large scale, up to several megawatts in some instances, solar fields.

Such schemes are especially popular with farmers, many of whom have had to diversify their businesses as certain farming sectors have become increasingly unprofitable. Solar fields can offer a more reliable source of income to farmers rather than that of traditional farming methods. Solar farms can provide low cost and low-carbon electricity for dwellings and other buildings similar to smaller systems.

Another increasingly popular way of establishing a solar field is to do so as part of a community or cooperative project. This can be attractive as such a scheme would benefit the locality by saving on energy prices along with being able to sell any excess energy back to the energy companies directly. There would also be the option of storing excess energy in a battery system if preferred.

The exact amount of money to be earned from solar fields depends largely on the amount of available land and other sire-specific factors, the figures are often very attractive. Developers will often pay more rent per annum per acre of land used for a solar field than the normal rent value of the land. For those landowners who decide to install the PV arrays themselves the income is sure to be even higher, though obviously this option presents a slightly higher financial risk.

Farmers should consider that income from a standalone PV array may impact upon the tax relief offered by the Single Farm Payment and should check with an accountant before proceeding with the PV installation.

Suitability for Commercial Solar Panels

As there is a high upfront cost involved, the feasibility, development and planning processes required for large scale solar projects are often time consuming and highly detailed. Substantial building or landscaping work may also be required. As with any other solar PV installation, in order for a site to be suitable it must usually meet certain conditions, for instance;

  • Relatively few obstacles (trees, hills, buildings, etc) which may cause shading issues and reduce the output of the array
  • Some PV developers could state a minimum area of land for it be financially viable
  • The proposed site must not be susceptible to floods
  • South sloping or flat ground is optimal setting
  • Must be access for initial construction and regular maintenance work
  • For proposed sites located in protected areas it is unlikely that planning permission would be granted
  • There needs to be a local connection to the electricity grid

The solar field installation itself will comprise of the PV panels, frames, inverters and cables as well as security measures; for example fencing and cameras for some larger installations. There will also be a central control and monitoring building.

Though regular checks of the array are required, PV panels have no moving parts, which make them reliable and durable.