On-grid solar (or “grid-connected solar”) is by far the most popular solar energy option for individual homeowners — it’s simple to install and maintain, and it saves homeowners money almost immediately. But is it a good option for your business?
Let’s start with what on-grid solar system design is:
On-grid solar is a system in which your solar panels and energy creation system is hooked directly into the existing power grid. This means that the power you generate is managed and distributed by your local utility company. On-grid solar has a lot of advantages — you won’t need an energy storage system, and you won’t have to worry about how and when to distribute your power. Additionally, you’ll never have to worry about running out of energy — when the power you produce is depleted, you simply draw energy from the grid.
Off-grid solar power systems are those that are entirely independent of the existing power grid. With off-grid solar, you generate, store and distribute all of your own energy. Off-grid systems require a storage mechanism — usually a “battery” – to store the energy you produce. With off-grid solar, you have the advantage of complete autonomy and independence from the existing utilities. Off-grid solar systems are especially ideal for businesses that are in remote locations that have no connection to the grid.
Hybrid solar systems can be used by operations whether they are connected to the grid or not. Hybrid systems are generally a combination of two or more energy generation sources, like a diesel generator or a wind turbine to complement your solar power system. Hybrid solar systems can be adopted by businesses that require one generation source as a backup system, such as solar, wind or diesel. Additionally, hybrid solar systems can also use energy storage solutions as backup.
On-grid solar power is a great option for almost any business that wants to save money on energy costs by generating their own, renewable power. Here’s why:
On-grid is the easiest way to start using solar energy. Since it connects to the existing utility grid, all of the management and distribution is handled by the utility company. Once you purchase and install your panels, you will not need to store excess energy generated by your solar system. For any business that is already using the existing utility system, on-grid solar is a great option.
On-grid solar power is basically an exchange system. The more power you generate, the less your bill will be. Theoretically, you could even make money if you continuously generate more power than you use. The utility company would send you a credit towards your next bill — though it should be noted this is rare, since you would need a large number of panels to generate that level of energy. You are guaranteed, however, to see lowered energy bills with on-grid solar. The more panels you have, the more energy you can generate and the less you’ll depend on traditional electricity from the grid.
Though you are still technically drawing energy from the existing grid, grid-connected solar does grant you a level of energy independence. Since you’ll be generating a lot of the power that you use, you will be less impacted by rate changes, blackouts and other issues with the utility grid. In short, you will limit your exposure to forces outside of your control. And by complimenting your on-grid system with a storage solution, you can back up energy generated by your on-grid solar system.
Just about any type of business that is connected to the grid can benefit from installing on-grid solar energy — after all, every business is looking to save money on overhead costs, and power is a large cost for business whether you have a regular office or a manufacturing plant.
Real estate developers who build and manage properties are often the entity paying the electric bills. Installing solar on commercial properties can help ease the cost burden of utility power for both the developer and the tenant.
Any office building uses significant power — computers, printers, lighting, and more are all humming during work hours, when energy rates are highest. Installing solar panels can cut electric bills down to a fraction of the normal rates.
With multiple businesses operating in a single structure or area, strip malls and shopping malls are perfect for solar power. There is ample roof space to install panels, and multiple businesses that will benefit from the savings.
Parking lots are a great option for on-grid solar. Not only will installing solar panels help shield shoppers from the blazing sun, it can generate more than enough power to light up the parking lot at night, free of charge!
Residential compounds either have a meter on every home or a single meter for the whole compound. Meaning that both the tenant and the real estate developer pay the electrical bill and would benefit from an on-grid solar system. Solar panels can be installed on rooftops and parking lots.
Installing on-grid solar can make a huge difference in cost savings and efficiencies for just about any business. And, falling in line with Saudi Vision 2030, solar power is undoubtedly the future of business power in the Kingdom.
Sun Capture is a solar energy services company in Saudi Arabia helping Saudi businesses bridge the gap between the current rising energy demands and costs, and the coming national move towards affordable renewable energy. To learn more about how solar can help your energy needs and bring your business in line with Saudi Vision 2030, contact us today.