500kW Solar System | Guide to Large Commercial Solar Installations
Renewable energy has permanently altered the energy industry. In recent years we have seen unmatched growth in solar energy technology. Solar products are now more powerful, more efficient and more durable than ever before. A decade ago it was unfathomable that a large Australian company could be powered entirely by solar power. Now companies that aren’t powered by a solar pv system are at risk of becoming outdated and obsolete.Companies that use more than 1,500kWhs (kilowatt hours) of energy each day should install a 500kW solar system (500 kilowatts). If you are a large business with high energy bills then you are failing in two key ways, environmentally and financially. Your carbon footprint is as massive as your electricity bill. This is bad for your public image, bad for your profits and bad for the environment. All of these things can be solved by making the switch to solar.
The influx of new manufacturers and new products to the renewable energy market has meant that there is more choice than ever before. It also means that there is a wide disparity in the quality and price of available options. In this comprehensive guide to 500 kW commercial solar systems we will answer the most important questions:
- What is the cost of a 500kW solar system?
- What rebates & subsidies can I access for a 500kW solar system?
- How much roof space is required for 500kW solar panels?
- How much electricity will a 500kW system generate?
- What value will a 500kW solar system bring my business?
- How long is the payback period for a 500kW solar installation?
- How do I improve the Return On Investment for my solar arrays?
What is the cost of a 500kW solar PV system?
The Changing Solar Market
Prices have fallen dramatically for commercial solar installations in the last few years. This means that many of the online price guides have become outdated and misleading. There are also more options to customise your system than ever before. Each component of your solar system can be catered to your budget and energy efficiency goals.
As such, it is important to get a personalised quote that includes your specific requirements and location in the calculation.
Solar Product Prices
Prices for a commercial 500kW solar installation start around $600,000 excluding GST. This price will depend heavily on your location and the type of components you choose for your system.
For higher quality components system prices will be $700,000 – $800,000 excluding GST.
Commercial solar installations over 100kW in size are eligible for Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs).
This type of government rebate is distinct from Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs). Instead of an upfront rebate amount offered at the time of purchase, LGCs are awarded annually based on the amount of solar energy your system produces.
While LGCs can be harder to quantify, they can provide a significant subsidy to the cost of your system over its lifetime.
How much roof space is needed for 500kW solar panels?
One of the key requirements for installing a commercial 500kW solar system is a lot of roof space. Exactly how much space you require will depend on the type of panels you choose. Most panels are 1.6 metres x 1 metre in size. The number that you’ll need to power your system will depend on the strength of the panels you select. Most are between 275 watts and 350 watts.
Below we have provided the rough calculations for the most common types of solar panels to give you an idea of the amount of surface area you’ll need to fit your system.
Roof space needed to power a 500kW solar PV system with:
- 275-watt panels would require 1,819 solar panels = approximately 2,910 m2
- 300-watt panels would require 1,667 solar panels = approximately 2,667 m2
- 350-watt panels would require 1,429 solar panels = approximately 2,286 m2
How much electricity will a 500kW solar pv system generate?
The amount of solar electricity that your 500kW system will generate will depend on the time of year and your location. Both of these factors determine the amount of solar irradiation that your panels will be exposed to. Summer will have longer days with higher solar irradiation levels compared to Winter. Likewise, Queensland will have higher levels of irradiation than Tasmania.
For an idea of the daily energy generation for a 500kW system, we have provided average production figures for each of the states.
|New South Wales||1,950kWh/day|
How much value can a 500kW solar pv system bring my business?
Installing a 500kW solar system will bring a huge amount of value to your business. The reduction in your carbon footprint combined with the improved sustainability and public image are invaluable benefits.
On top of these intangible assets, the reduction in your energy bill will drastically reduce your company’s expenses. Most 500kW solar systems that have been appropriately fitted will save their business between $90,000 and $180,000 in electricity bills each year.
What is the payback period for a 500kW solar pv system?
One of the most crucial measurements in the value of a commercial solar system is its payback period. This is the amount of time it takes for your system to pay for itself. Through reduced energy bills, feed-in tariffs and LGCs, your solar system will eventually completely pay off the initial investment. After this period, the savings generated by your solar system are pure profit for your business.
The payback period is dependent on the initial cost of your installation, the quality of your components, the amount you pay for electricity and the amount of energy your system generates. Generally speaking, most 500kW systems will complete their payback period within 4 – 6 years.
How can I improve the Return on Investment for my 500kW solar system?
If you want to make the most out of your solar system, there are a number ways you can increase the ROI over the long term. Below we have listed three key areas to think about if you want to increase the value of your investment. For more information, visit our website for detailed articles on each of the following topics.
The solar inverter is the heart of the solar system. Inverters convert the energy from the solar panels into the electrical current used by your appliances. The higher the quality of your inverter, the higher the efficiency of this conversion. Investing in an inverter with high efficiency and a great warranty is the best way to boost your ROI and safeguard your investment.
Feed-in Tariff Rates (minimum feed-in tariff & time varying tariff)
The electricity that you generate that you do not use gets fed back into the grid. Each energy provider has different rates that they pay for the electricity you provide them. They also have different ways of measuring this rate. Some use a minimum tariff rate, while others vary their rate depending on the time of day. Doing your research to ensure you are getting the best rate from your provider.
Solar Battery Storage
For those who would rather not send their electricity back into the grid, solar batteries are your answer. These allow you to store your excess electricity for use at a later time. Batteries help businesses self-consume more of the energy they consume, which provides far better returns that feed-in tariffs.
The next step to installing commercial solar is to request a quote.
You can get a free quote by going through our online request form or calling our friendly specialists on 1300 076 527 .