solargaines | 10616 Beaver Dam Road, Suite S-3, Cockeysville, MD 21030
p. (410) 785-1760 | f. (410) 785-1763
NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer™
(John Hencken # 032611-137)
Considering Solar Panels for a Maryland
Office Building or Commercial Property?
With solar photovoltatic panels (PV panels) and solar hot water systems, your commercial property or office building will become that much more valuable:
- Economic benefit – Offset and reduce current utility bills and add value to your property
- Environmental benefit – Reduce your building's carbon footprint
- Public Relations benefit - Generate goodwill by promoting renewable, sustainable and clean energy
- Competitive benefit – Give yourself a marketing edge as economic and environmental benefits can be passed on to tenants
- Potential to be self-financed through a power purchase agreement
A smooth process.
At solargaines, we'll walk you through every step from determining feasibility to final solar panel installation for office buildings. Here's an idea of how things will flow.
- We'll conduct a telephone interview to determine suitability, finding out things such as:
- Does your office building have a southern facing roof or another site available for installation?
- Are there any issues with age, pitch or type of roofing (slate, tile, metal?)
- Are there any potential issues with shading? (we'll do a Google Earth analysis while on the phone with you)
- Next we'll come out and do a site evaluation that includes the following:
- We'll take measurements including solar pathfinder readings.
- We'll take photographs of installation/design variables like location of breaker panel, etc.
- We'll conduct a more in-depth interview with you including collecting copies of utility bills and building plans so that we can custom design a system to best meet your needs.
- Once the evaluation and planning has been done it's time to design the system and prepare a proposal including a Power Purchase Agreement, if applicable.
- If yours is a self-financed transaction with a Power Purchase Agreement, we'll work with you to negotiate, structure and execute documents relating to the ownership entity that will be a part of the proposal.
- After the proposal has help been accepted, we'll order materials and begin scheduling construction and installation of your solar system.
- Place purchase orders with vendors
- Submit plans for permitting
- Schedule installation and inspections
- Schedule final commissioning and signoffs from county and utility company
- Assist with filing of all paperwork related to federal, state and local incentives
- Assist with financing if requested
Once your system has been commissioned, you get to sit back and enjoy your “double dividend” for the next 25 years…
Frequently asked questions.
- Will I still need to be connected to my utility company?
Most likely, yes. The benefit of solar systems is diminished when you go off-grid due to the cost and wastefulness of batteries. Being connected to the grid is a good thing, though. The current mandate for “net metering” makes it a requirement for the utility company to allow you to feed unused electricity that you generate back onto the grid and your meter will run backwards while this occurs. Then when you need more electricity than your system is producing you will draw from the grid and your meter will run as it normally would. The net effect is that you are getting full “retail price” credit for the electricity you “store” out on the grid when not using it.
- How does a Power Purchase Agreement work?
The host site will grant an easement to the owner of the array, typically a separate entity created to own the system, and the user of the site will agree to purchase power from the system at a discounted rate for a set period of time, usually 20 years. This arrangement allows the host site (and purchaser of the electricity) to achieve cost savings while the owners of the array earn a return on their investment.
- Can my roof handle the weight?
The systems do add additional weight to the load-bearing roof, but the engineering of the racking systems spreads that out and typically makes additional structural support unnecessary.
- Is the income tax credit applicable to Solar Panel Systems used in Commercial Building Applications?
For commercial solar electric systems, the tax credit has recently been replaced by a direct grant from the US Government. This is beneficial to those with out a tax liability and to those who don’t wish to wait until filing their tax returns.
- What is a SREC?
A “REC” is what is known as a renewable energy credit. There was a law passed in the state of Maryland back in 2008 that requires a certain percentage of their power be provided by renewable energy sources. This creates opportunity for the individual consumer since the power companies do not have the in-house renewable energy percentages required by law. This means that they need to buy the rights to your renewable energy production. This is done through a third party that packages up individual producers such as yourself and then sells the aggregate to the power company in a larger package.
- How do I sell my SREC’s?
Solargaines will facilitate the sale of your RECs to an aggregator. There are two main contracts that an aggregator will use to purchase RECs. Option one is they will give you a lump sum amount to sign for a fixed amount of years so that they can claim your energy production. The other method is through the dispersal of yearly payments which ends up giving you less up front; however, the amount paid out over the length of the contract will be much greater.
- Can you mount a solar array on a flat roof without making penetrations?
Yes, on flat roofs we can use what is called a ballasted system. This is a system that is anchored to the roof using ballast.
- How do I make sure I am taking advantage of all the solar incentives whether they are state, local, or otherwise?
We constantly monitor the availability of incentives in any form and make sure to pass those along to our customers.
- How long do these systems take to install?
It varies widely depending on the size of the job. It could be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
- How much space do I need?
The amount of space depends on the size of the system. But, in general, for a system generating a substantial amount of energy, there will be a significant space requirement. If there is not enough space on the roof to accommodate the required panel area then there are also numerous different types of ground mounting systems available.
Is Solar Right for You?
Our solar experts can help determine your exact ROI today.
Click the button below or call (410) 785-1760 for a no-hassle free property evaulation.