5 Businesses That Benefit from Ground Mount Solar Panels

ground mount solar panels

There are many different industries that can benefit from the implementation of ground mount solar panels, and by utilizing solar technology, businesses can reduce their environmental impact while also enhancing their operations.

In this guide, we’ll discuss five industries that can reap substantial benefits from sustainable solar technology. From farms to healthcare facilities, these industries can pave the path forward for a brighter tomorrow.

1. Agricultural Businesses

Agricultural businesses can take advantage of solar energy sources to power their machinery and other essential systems more efficiently while saving on energy costs. This renewable energy source is not only environmentally friendly but also allows agricultural enterprises to be self-sufficient and reduce their reliance on conventional power grids.

Solar panels offer an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional power grids and allow for dual use of farmland. When utility costs increase, such as what occurred recently in Pennsylvania, switching to solar energy can be an excellent option.

By strategically placing solar panels on unused or less productive areas of farmland, agricultural businesses can optimize their operations and contribute to a greener future.

2. Manufacturing Businesses

Manufacturing businesses also stand to gain significantly from ground mount solar panels due to their large facilities and machinery requirements.

With solar energy, manufacturing companies can reduce manufacturing costs and shrink their carbon footprint while promoting sustainable growth. The financial benefits available in terms of financial grants and tax incentives for the transition to renewable energy sources can help accelerate returns on investments.

Solar power can sustain heavy machinery such as CNC machines, conveyor belts, and assembly lines, promoting energy independence and sustainable growth.

There are also numerous tax incentives and grants accessible for industries transitioning to commercial renewable energy sources, and these financial benefits can lessen upfront installation expenses and accelerate return on investment.

3. Retail and Commercial Buildings

Retail and commercial buildings, including offices, can capitalize on the cost-effective solutions provided by ground mount solar panels for significant reductions in operational expenses; this can help minimize dependence on conventional energy sources.

By using the full power of the sun, retail/commercial businesses can channel their savings into other vital areas, maximizing profitability and efficiency.

4. Educational Institutions

Educational institutions have the unique opportunity to take advantage of the power of ground mount solar panels, not only to save on electricity and heating costs but also to create enriching educational experiences for their students.

By integrating solar energy into schools, colleges, and universities, they can reduce their reliance on traditional energy sources and cut operational expenses.

5. Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare facilities recognize how crucial it is to have reliable energy sources functioning all the time for powering life-saving equipment and keeping patients in good health.

Ground mount solar panels, in contrast to roof-mount solar panels, are an excellent solution for such facilities, as they provide consistent power that reduces reliance on traditional sources of energy. By tapping into sustainable, renewable energy, healthcare centers can reduce their dependence on the traditional power grid, ensuring lifesaving equipment remains operational during unforeseen outages.

Get Started with Ground Mount Solar Panels with Bright Eye Solar Today

Ground mount solar panels offer numerous benefits that make them an ideal choice for commercial enterprises/businesses seeking clean energy solutions.

At Bright Eye Solar, we pride ourselves on offering top-quality solar energy solutions tailored to your unique needs. Our experienced team has the expertise and dedication to ensure your ground mount solar installation is efficient and effective, and we’re here to help if you’re seeking out an experienced solar installation company.

Our ongoing support also guarantees your system will continue to provide exceptional energy production throughout its lifespan.

Ready to harness the power of ground mount solar panels? Contact Bright Eye Solar today for a free quote today!

Understanding Degradation and the Lifespan of Solar Panels  

lifespan of solar panels

When people make a major purchase—whether it’s a car, computer, or refrigerator—they hope that it won’t need to be replaced anytime soon. Fortunately, home and business owners who are considering installing solar panels can rest assured that, while their panels won’t last forever, they are built to offer several decades of reliable electricity production. Here’s what you need to know about the lifespan of solar panels before deciding whether to install a solar energy system.

What Is the Lifespan of Solar Panels?

As with any piece of technology, the lifespan of a solar panel depends on a variety of factors, including climate and the quality of the installation. Generally speaking, you can expect solar panels to continue to produce an acceptable level of electricity for 30 to 35 years. The panels are at their peak performance and are usually covered by a warranty during this timeframe, but they could be operational long past their 30th birthday. However, over time, the performance level of the panels will deteriorate, resulting in reduced electricity production.

What Causes Solar Panels to Degrade?

Solar panel degradation is the gradual loss of a panel’s ability to capture solar energy. This process is inevitable and usually occurs at a rate of around 0.5% per year. Initial light exposure when panels are first installed causes a slight degradation, and exposure to the elements affects panels as they age. Some factors can also accelerate solar panel degradation, including:

  • Damp heat: Exposure to high humidity rates combined with high temperatures may cause panel degradation.
  • Temperature fluctuations: Solar panels are designed to work in any climate, but sudden shifts between extremely hot and cold temperatures can affect panel components.
  • Debris: Falling debris, such as tree branches during a hurricane or tornado, can damage the surface of solar panels.
  • Poor installation: If an installer fails to place panels at the proper angles or securely clamp them, they could experience unnecessary damage.

The degradation rate of solar panels also depends on the quality of the materials used to construct them. Some manufacturers might use lower-quality components, including glass, aluminum, and solar cells, in an effort to keep costs low. The cost of solar panels in general has gone down, so there’s no need to sacrifice quality and risk faster degradation.

Is It Possible to Extend the Life of Solar Panels?

Although it’s impossible to grant your solar panels eternal life, a little extra attention from time to time will help keep them producing ample electricity for as long as possible. These simple steps can help maximize your solar panel life expectancy:

  • Monitor the performance level of your panels.
  • Avoid allowing a heavy blanket of snow to sit on your panels for a long period of time.
  • Keep the panels clear of dirt and debris, such as leaves.
  • If you suspect there’s a problem, have a professional check your panels rather than try to repair them yourself, which could void the warranty.

In addition to this ongoing maintenance, keep in mind that achieving the longest possible solar panel lifespan begins with the initial installation. Choose reputable, experienced installers who know how to properly place and secure solar panels.

How Long Do Solar Panel Batteries Last?

Although solar panels are likely to keep producing electricity for 25 years or longer, a solar battery may require earlier replacement. Some batteries fail in as few as five years, while others match the life of solar panels. Other components, such as solar inverters, may also have shorter lifespans.

What Happens at the End of a Solar Panel’s Lifespan?

As long as you’re satisfied with the amount of electricity that a solar panel produces, you can keep it in place long after the end of its useful life. When you feel like the production ability of your solar panels no longer matches your expectations and needs, you can retire and replace them knowing that you got a great return on your investment. The installers for your new panels will provide details about the disposal of the old ones.

Choose Quality Solar Panels with Bright Eye Solar

For more than a decade, Bright Eye Solar has provided residential and commercial solar services in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. Our top priority is ensuring that you find a solar panel system that will serve you for years to come. Reach out to get a free quote or to consult with our team of experts about which panels offer the longest-lasting electricity production for your home or business.

Power Your Enterprise With Commercial Solar Panels!

commercial solar system on roof

Commercial solar panels are marvels of technology that can provide just about any establishment with clean energy. These solar panels are a variety of multiple photovoltaic (PV) solar panels that change sunlight into electricity.

They collect clean, renewable power from the sun and convert it into electricity. Solar panels are made up of several single solar cells that consist of boron, phosphorus, and silicon arranged in a grid-like order. The power that the cells produce goes to an inverter that performs a conversion.

It changes the power (that is in Direct Current form) into Alternating Current (AC) that can be used in establishments and other places.

Apart from commercial panels being an excellent source of clean power, why else should you invest in them?

1. They Require Very Little Maintenance

Commercial panels from a trustworthy provider produce no noise as they operate. They also need little maintenance. The solar cells are encased in a protective and highly tempered glass case. 

And because they’re exposed to harsh elements most of the time, they are designed to withstand rain, dust, snow, and other unbearable weather attacks.

The PV cells are made of durable material, making it possible for them to go for days, even years, without any breakdowns. Most solar manufacturers offer an impressive 20-25 year warranty on their products, which means your enterprise can enjoy renewable energy for 20 years or more. When you think about the durability factor, these panels are worth every dime and are a worthy investment.

2. There are Incentives to Enjoy

To accelerate the solar panel buying process, state and federal governments offer solid financial incentives. One of them is the Investment Tax Credit that provides establishments that install a commercial panel a 30% tax credit on the price of the panel. 

Additionally, every local utility and state has a rebate system to lower the overall price of installing a commercial solar panel system.

3. Commercial Panels are Suitable for Commercial Enterprises

Many business owners are losing out on incredible solar power benefits without realizing it. The key benefit here is commercial panels help save money. Commercial establishments  can ordinarily take a larger solar system size and enjoy a lower per kilowatt-installed rate.

An additional bonus is because many organizations operate from a fixed location, they realize the economic advantages of solar power more wholly.

4. They Help in Lowering Your Building’s Operating Costs

No matter the operating expenses of your business, fixing a commercial solar panel on your roof can help in reducing them. Whether you lease your panel or pay for it upfront, utility charges will drop to the point where the savings from the expenses will pay for the panel costs in the long run.

Investing in energy-efficient steps as well as a commercial solar panel may seem like a waste of money now, but think of the positive long-term effects of your decision. Purchasing a solar panel is one of the wisest moves you’ll ever make and you’ll be happy about it in the long haul.

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Best Ways to Finance Your Solar Panels

Best Ways to Finance Your Solar Panels

The field of solar energy is booming, with a 60% increase in solar power generation in the United States annually during the last decade. More people add solar panels and equipment to homes, office buildings and different energy generation stations nationwide. The future looks bright for solar energy. If you want to be part of this growing field, now is an excellent time to consider adding solar equipment to your home.

Unfortunately, although solar energy itself is free, the equipment to harness the power of the sun is not free. There’s a cost for the hardware and setup, and it can be prohibitive for some homeowners. Leasing solar panels is one option, but there are cheap ways to pay for solar panels, too. And the good news is that the cost of solar energy equipment has dropped 60% over the past decade, too, making it more affordable now than ever.

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If renewable energy is one of your dreams and a lower utility bill, it’s crucial to explore the many options you have for solar panel financing.

The Parts of a Solar Energy System

It may sound strange to need financing for solar energy. After all, no one has found a way to tax the sun’s rays yet. However, solar power requires system components that you must purchase or lease. The expenses can add up quickly.

You can build an off-grid solar system or a ‘grid-tie’ system. Off-grid systems aren’t connected to the local energy grid and provide power to the installation site only. Grid-tie means that your house remains connected to the utility system. Most people choose grid-tie because it’s convenient and provides the assurance that you’ll always have power. If you produce excess power from your solar energy installation, you can even sell it back to the utility company.

The parts you’ll need for a grid-tie solar system include:

  • Solar Panels: Solar panels collect energy from the sun and convert it into direct current.
  • Power Inverter: American power is on alternating current, or A/C. Direct current from your solar panels must be changed into A/C for it to power any appliances in your home or to be sold back to the power company. A power inverter does the job of converting D/C to A/C power.
  • PV Disconnect: A PV Disconnect turns off the power when you want to work on the system.
  • Breaker Box: You can use the same breaker box in your home that’s connected to the utility system grid.
  • Net Meter: This connects to the grid to monitor how much power you take or give to the network system.

System costs vary according to the size and complexity of the entire system. You should also consider the costs of installing the panels and any maintenance that might be needed over time.

Solar panels are rated according to how much energy they can absorb. Look at your current utility bills for an estimate of how many kilowatt hours your family uses in an average month. That will tell you how much energy you’ll need each month.
Next, look for the peak solar hours each day for your area. You can find this on the National Laboratory website.

Divide the number of kilowatt hours per month by 30 to get an average per day. Take your answer, and divide that by the peak solar hours. This answer will tell you how many kilowatts of panels you need, on average.

For example, if you use 1200 kilowatts per month of electricity, that works out to 40 kilowatts per day. If you live in an area where the peak solar hours is approximately 4, then you need 10 kilowatts worth of solar panels in total. This number will help you figure out how many panels you might need.

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Types of Solar Panels

There are two types of solar panels: crystalline panels and thin-film panels. Crystalline panels last about 40 years and are the big, blue-tinted panels common in the solar power industry. These panels require an elaborate racking system for installation which can add to the costs, but they’re durable and proven in the industry. Racking, or mounting the panels, can be done on the rooftops of houses or the ground if you have space or it.

Keep in mind that the average household will need about 25 panels, so you’ll need enough space and a sturdy enough roof for the panels. It’s also important to have a roof that’s not shaded by trees or adjacent buildings. Sunlight must strike the panels directly for it to be absorbed and transformed into energy.

Thin-film panels are a new invention that use thin cling-film to create solar panels. It unrolls and sticks to a solid surface to build solar panels. It only lasts about 25 years, so you won’t get as much from your investment compared to crystalline panels. It also doesn’t generate as much power as crystalline, so you need more surface area for thin film to make up for the difference. Because it’s easier to install, some people prefer thin film.

What Are the Financing Options for Solar Panels?

There’s a big push for solar energy now as both the sole provider of energy to homes and offices and a supplement power source generated by coal and nuclear-powered plants. Let’s take a look at the many ways to finance solar panels for your home.

Solar Panel Financing: Purchases and Loans

A solar-photovoltaic (PV) system requires a significant upfront investment. The price depends on the size of the area to be fitted with solar panels and the system you purchase. Batteries add to the cost, but they also add to the usefulness of solar PV systems since energy from the sun can be stored and used at night and on cloudy days.

To finance the cost of solar systems, you can tap into your savings or home equity. There are also loans available to homeowners who wish to add solar systems. These loans are good if you want to purchase your solar system outright. Once you buy such a system, you can reap the benefits immediately.

Loans are available from banks, credit unions and private groups. Before signing up for a loan, consider that the money you hope to save from solar energy should outweigh your loan payments. In other words, if a loan payment is $500 a month until the loan is satisfied, you’ll want to achieve $500 a month or more in savings on energy costs.

Typically, homeowners can save 40 to 70 percent of their electric costs over the lifetime of the system. Energy costs always fluctuate, especially if you heat your home or water using gas or oil fuel. Energy from the sun used to heat homes and water systems will never cost anything more than your initial investment into the solar system, so you could end up saving money if you plan to remain in your newly solar-outfitted home for a while to come.

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Solar loans work the same way as a home improvement loan, with the common interest and repayment options. Some states offer specific solar loan programs to help homeowners more easily obtain credit for solar projects. Pennsylvania offers a generous solar loan program, and New York State residents can borrow $13,000 to $25,000 with a 5, 10 or 15-year payment period for home-based solar installation projects. Other states may have similar programs, so be sure to check their websites for information.

There are many advantages to buying your equipment outright. You’ll own it and won’t have to worry about payments later on. You’ll also receive any tax credits and other benefits associated with it. The drawback includes the cost. The initial cash outlay may be steep. Weighing potential savings in energy costs over the 40-year life of crystalline panels or the 25-year life of thin film is an important part of the equation.

Leasing Solar Equipment

You can also lease solar equipment. Solar leasing companies will rent equipment to you in exchange for the tax credits and benefits they receive. Typically, solar leasing companies ask for a 20-year contract. They own the equipment installed on your property and maintain it or repair it if it breaks. You are responsible for allowing them access to their equipment and for any other terms or conditions of the contract.

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Leases usually require no money down, but you’re locked into the conditions of the agreement for 20 years. Like leasing a car, you’ll pay a fixed amount each month to lease the equipment. The amount of the contract is calculated based on the estimated amount of electricity your system will provide. You’ll save money on your electric bill and do your part to reduce the use of fossil fuels by incorporating solar panels into your property.

Leasing is only available in about 25 states, so check with your state government for more information.

Power Purchase Agreements (PPA)

Similar to leasing, power purchase agreements allow you to place solar equipment on your property, reduce electric bills and do your part to reduce the world’s reliance on fossil fuels.

PPAs are either no money down or a small percent or fixed fee down payment. After the initial payment with a PPA, however, there is no monthly leasing fee. Instead, you agree to pay a fixed kilowatt-per-hour fee for the electricity generated from your solar panels. You pay the PPA company that amount each month and the solar energy produced by your panel offsets some or all of your electricity needs.

Energy Efficient Mortgage

An energy efficient mortgage offers homeowners a break in the costs of their mortgage after proving that they have installed energy-saving devices. Solar equipment is included in this definition. An energy efficient mortgage requires someone from the lending company to validate the energy savings attributes of a home. While energy efficient mortgages are typically given for new homes, it may be worthwhile to explore whether an existing home if fitted with solar equipment would qualify for a new mortgage or refinancing with an energy efficient mortgage.

FHA-approved lenders offer EEM loans. These loans are offered as 30 or 15-year fixed rate mortgages or as adjustable rate mortgages from approved FHA lenders. A 3.5% cash investment in your home is required before the loan is granted. The total amount of the loan is equal to the estimated value of your home plus the projected costs of energy-saving improvements.

PACE Programs

PACE stands for “property assessed clean energy.” PACE programs finance renewable and clean energy programs. Property owners who wish to install solar power equipment can repay the costs of the loan to install it over a 10 to 20-year period with PACE programs. These programs reduce large upfront cash payments that may be required to implement a big home improvement project, such as switching to solar energy.

PACE is tied to the property, rather than to an individual, so the loans go with the property if you sell it. Failure to repay a PACE loan is treated similarly to failing to pay your property taxes.

To learn more, visit the government’s PACE program page.

Peer-to-Peer Lending

Peer-to-peer lending helps homeowners avoid the high transaction costs of dealing with banks or other lending institutions. It offers a way for entities to finance solar projects on a one-to-one basis. Borrowers are matched directly with investors, and repayments are made directly to the investors rather than working through financial institutions.

Peer lending operates in a gray area of loans that may be a bit risky. The laws haven’t caught up to it yet, so you are taking a bit more of a risk with it than if you went to your friendly neighborhood banker. Still, it can be a good choice for those who do not wish to take out a bank loan or who cannot for some reason go to a traditional lender.

Shared Solar

Shared Solar, also called Community Renewable Solar Energy, is a way for community groups to fund solar projects. Several customers can share the benefits of one local, pooled solar energy resource.

It’s simple: a group of people from a community contributes money towards a solar project. Then, panels and equipment are installed. The power generated from the shared solar is then dispersed among the members, essentially sharing out the benefits of the capital they put into the project.

Shared solar projects are usually created on jointly-owned property. They are ideal for community developments, condominiums, or spaces with a shared common area.

Currently, there are 25 states with at least one solar community project online and working. Twelve states, including Washington D.C., offer financial incentives for community solar projects.

Ready to Go Solar?

Before starting your solar power installation project, check with local zoning laws to make sure it’s legal in your area to put up solar racks. You should also work with an experienced, licensed electrician to install your system, especially if it’s a grid-tie system. Solar energy is, after all, transformed into electricity, and you don’t want to shock or electrocute yourself when you check on the system.

When you’re ready to get started, consider Bright Eye Solar. We serve the Mid-Atlantic — New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware — with expert solar power system installation. Contact us or get a quote today!