The Top New Commercial Solar Installations Sweeping America
Businesses interested in a money-saving renovation have been recommended a commercial solar panel installation for many years now. The traditional benefits are familiar: Energy savings, less reliance on an electrical grid, potential opportunities to sell electricity back to suppliers — and, of course, government credits and rebates.
But in recent years, we’ve seen a trend of new commercial solar projects that are more useful than ever. Not only have materials and efficiency improved, but solar panels are being used in more creative, practical ways. Here are the trends that are encouraging commercial property owners of all kinds to plan their solar projects.
Solar Parking Lots
Rooftop solar remains the most popular and most cost-effective choice for businesses. However, not all commercial property owners have a lot of roof space to use, nor do roofs facing in an optimal direction. But there’s another large section of unused space just waiting for a solar upgrade – privately owned parking lots near businesses.
In these cases, solar panels are installed on durable columns directly above parking spaces, with power routed to nearby buildings. This provides a host of benefits, including the ability to provide cars with shade on baking hot days and a source of power for nearby parking lot lights or even EV chargers. It’s one of many examples of how traditional commercial property can be renovated with solar in ways that customers and business owners alike benefit from.
Agricultural Solar Installations
Agri-solar (or agrivoltaics) has long been popular in some areas, such as parts of California, but now more and more farmers are paying attention to those benefits. In these cases, rows of solar panels are installed over either grazing land or certain crops where the panels can absorb sunlight in areas that are already well-designed to get lots of natural sun.
Owners typically have a few questions about these projects. For example, do the solar panels inhibit crop growth? No: They take relatively little room to install, they are positioned above harvesters, and they are used with low-to-the-ground crops that benefit from a certain amount of shade, such as peppers, broccoli, wheat, alfalfa, and more.
Others may wonder if solar panels do well around grazing animals. So far, solar panels don’t seem to interfere with grazing at all. Cattle and other livestock often appreciate the shade as much as certain plants do.
Floating and Battery Storage Upgrades
Existing solar installations are also getting a couple of very useful modern upgrades as well. The first is a floating solar panel installation (not literally floating on water, although those also exist). A floating array is designed to automatically move with the sun to maximize yield, similar to how flowers turn to face the sun throughout the day. This is a relatively easy replacement of mounts, and in most cases, owners can continue using the same panels.
The second upgrade is the addition of battery storage to a solar array. This allows owners to easily store generated energy for peak demand hours, cutting down on waste and keeping the installation useful even after dark.
Upgrade Your Property With Solar Panel Installation
Not sure if your property is a good choice for a solar installation? Contact local solar installers and take a look at their portfolios or ask some questions. You can quickly get a better idea of what a new solar installation would look like for your specific situation. You can also see how your industry benefits from grants, rebates, and other incentives to invest in a new solar project. Sometimes, time is a crucial factor in getting the best discounts.