When you install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on your property, they leverage your existing assets to capture and convert sunshine into clean power for your business. Going solar drives business performance and efficiency by harnessing a 100% renewable energy source that is consistent and sustainable.
During the day, it’s even possible for your system to generate more electricity than your operations can consume in a day. If you’re enrolled in the net metering program, your excess solar electricity is fed into the utility grid. Net metering monetizes your solar investment by crediting you for the solar electricity you add to the grid and lowering your future electricity bills.
Let’s explore some additional ways that you can utilize your excess solar energy to boost the sustainability and resilience of your site, optimize your energy strategy, and maximize your investment.
If the sun is still shining and the power grid fails during the day, your commercial solar panels will not be able to draw energy from the sun and generate electricity – even if they are generating excess power. A solar PV system by itself is not a resiliency solution, as it will not protect you from a utility grid blackout. There is a reason behind this.
Solar PV installations come equipped with special safety technology that automatically shuts down solar PV systems during blackouts or power surges. This safety mechanism serves an important function. When the local electricity company sends out crews to fix the grid, these utility technicians need to know which power lines are active and which are not. If a solar PV installation is still sending solar electricity into the grid, these panels can create invisible “islands” of dangerous electricity. The automatic shutdown feature helps to prevent islanding and keep utility crews safe.
But it is possible to use excess solar energy to power your site resilience – with battery storage for solar.
While a solar PV system cannot provide power to your facility during a grid outage, a battery storage system can. To truly be resilient in the face of challenges that can pose risks to your business – like power outages or grid interruptions – a battery storage system can store excess energy generated by your system during the day and leverage that stored energy to provide continuous, uninterrupted power to your facility in the event of a grid outage.
Reliable power is essential to running your business systems, as almost everything runs on electricity. During a power outage, battery storage provides a reliable source of power using 100% renewable solar energy that has been stored in the system, boosting the resilience of your business.
You can also utilize battery storage to lower your demand charges.
If your facility consumes large amounts of energy, you’re likely on a demand-based tariff with your local utility. Here, your charges will be comprised of both the volumetric energy charges ($/kWh) as well as demand charges, which are calculated as the highest interval of usage in any month ($/kW-month), sometimes to the 15-minute time interval.
Battery storage can be intelligently dispatched to limit your facility’s peak demand from the grid, thereby reducing these expensive demand charges.
A solar PV system not only increases the sustainability of your business by generating your own power as opposed to pulling it from the grid, but it can also increase your business’s resilience when you enhance it with a battery storage solution. Combining solar PV and battery storage is a great way to get the most out of your generated energy during all hours of the day.
Optimize your energy with a Solar and Storage solution that can provide a powerful business advantage for your brand and help you create a more sustainable business. In addition to running your business on less expensive, onsite-generated and renewable power, this solution helps you manage risk and protect your resources – giving you peace of mind that your productivity will not be impacted during an outage.
For businesses that want to become more sustainable in their operations and resilient in the face of energy challenges, solar energy and battery storage is the perfect solution.
To learn more about boosting the sustainability and resilience of your business by installing a Solar and Storage solution, contact our team for a consultation. Our experts are here to answer any questions you have about 24/7 protection from grid failures and leveraging solar power as a revenue stream.
Tim Seamans serves as Head of Commercial Solar at Centrica Business Solutions. Tim is a 14 year veteran of the solar industry and has worked with a diverse group of teams to provide clients with an excellent financial return from solar and help build an distributed energy platform for future generations.