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Dispelling the 5 most common solar myths

Even as more organisations realise the benefits of solar, there are still some misconceptions about this technology. We shine some light on the truth below.

The number of new solar photovoltaic (PV) installations continues to grow as organisations realise the many benefits of turning sunshine into energy savings. Despite the expectation that an average of 14 GW of solar PV is projected to be installed each year from 2018 to 2022, there are still some common misconceptions about solar technology.

Here are 5 common myths, along with the facts to support them. Are any of these following solar myths preventing your organisation from benefiting from sustainable, cost-effective solar energy?

Myth 1: Going solar is too expensive

10 years ago, you would have been right. But today, the dropping costs of system materials makes solar energy an affordable option for organisations – often outperforming traditional grid electricity in cost and predictability. You can structure your solar investment to achieve a consistent cost over years to come, eliminating your exposure to changes in energy costs over time. With solar, you can generate electricity at a price substantially lower than getting it from the National Grid.

In addition, businesses don’t need large amounts of capital handy in order to go solar. A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is a low-maintenance option for going solar and requires no capital outlay. You simply purchase the low-cost solar electricity generated from the system installed at your site at a discounted rate for the term of the contract.

Myth 2: Our facility doesn’t get enough sunshine – solar won’t work

Many businesses wrongly believe their properties don’t receive enough sunshine – or at least enough to make solar a worthwhile investment. However, according to National Geographic, enough sunlight hits Earth every hour to power the world’s electricity needs for an entire year.

In other words, solar energy works incredibly well, no matter where your facility is located. This explains why many of our customers can offset as much as 50% of their electricity needs with solar power – sometimes even more, depending on their system size and energy usage. Our expert solar team maximise available space for solar and custom-design a system specific to your site needs – our customers know that their site is harnessing the most sunlight possible to power their business needs.

What about cloudy or cool climates?

When it comes to solar energy, direct sunlight is best (obviously), but even on the cloudiest days, solar panels will continue generating clean, efficient electricity. This is because:

  • Visible light still gets through (which is why you’re able to see)
  • UV light comes through (which is why some people get sunburned on overcast days)
  • Infrared light gets through (which is why you still feel warm on cloudy, summer days)

Contrary to popular belief, solar PV technology works best in colder temperatures. This inverse relationship between temperature and performance partially explains why Germany and Ontario have enjoyed such success with solar energy.

Myth 3: Solar energy only powers your facility during the day

While it is true that your solar panels will not generate electricity after the sun sets, solar provides value to your business operations at all hours through optimisation when you add a storage solution.

Combining solar with storage results in an integrated solution where solar-generated electricity is stored onsite for later use. This solution provides relief from ever-increasing demand charges and reduces energy spend when it is at its most expensive during peak hours, as your facility can draw electricity from your stored solar energy as opposed to the grid during peak times.

Myth 4: Solar technology is constantly improving, so it’s better to wait.

This is true for any technology, not just solar.

However, solar technology is built to last for decades – so the system you install today will still be performing years from now, especially when you partner with Centrica Business Solutions and secure your investment with our O&M offerings, which ensure your system is maintained for peak performance.

In addition, when you select Centrica Business Solutions to design, install, and maintain your system, you can rest assured that your system is comprised of the highest-quality equipment from Tier 1 manufacturers – components that are built to last.

Myth 5: Going solar is a lot of work and will take time away from daily business operations.

This is the easiest of all the myths to dispel. Our experienced solar team offers a customised service that delivers the very best in everything – from designing your system using inverter options that optimise your system’s production, to your system installation using high-quality Tier 1 equipment, to the maintenance and monitoring of your system after it has been turned on:

  • End-to-end solution management
  • Affordable, competitive pricing with two funding options
  • Professionally engineered and designed solar systems based on your available solar resource
  • Safe installation with quality workmanship
  • Highest-quality equipment using Tier 1 system components
  • Maximised system production and electricity savings
  • O&M packages tailored to site needs

Learn more about the benefits of our solar solution for your business.