The most convenient way for most companies to do this is to use solar power – instead of just keeping the rain out, with the right number of solar panels, your roof could be generating most if not all of your energy needs.
Solar power is expected to lead the growth in this on-site generation to 2030. Commercial solar panels will usually be set up as a solar panel system. Up to 1000 solar modules can be connected to achieve the desired power output, costing from £10,000 for a small business to around £100,000 for a larger installation.
As well as saving you money on energy costs, a solar installation can also earn you money too. The Department of Energy and Climate Change introduced Feed in Tariffs in 2010. Your energy supplier will pay you a set rate for every kWh of electricity you generate as well as 4.77p/kWh for every unit you export bask to the grid.
ABB string inverters are playing a big role in making it a practical proposition. A project for a clothing factory uses 50 kW peak, roof mounted solar panels, together with six, 8 kW ABB string inverters to provide power control and surge protection.
Another company benefitting from the technology is Leeds-based Halcyon Drives, an ABB authorised value provider. Putting its money where its mouth is, Halcyon has installed an ABB TRIO string inverter as part of a photovoltaic power plant capable of generating the factory’s entire demand of 30 kW.
The ABB TRIO is ideal for meeting the needs of mid-range commercial installations, bridging the gap between the domestic market and the very large utility size set up.
Halcyon’s Marketing Director Martin Rhodes says: “Our business is selling energy saving variable-speed drives. With the ABB TRIO we can show that we are truly committed to reducing our energy costs by generating our own and have faith in ABB products.”
The cost of the installation was £31,000 and Halcyon expects to recover this investment on electricity savings alone in two and a half years.
Very few things are free in this life, but with solar installations paying for themselves in such a short time and generating cost free energy after payback, what are you waiting for?