Our commercial solar Sydney buying guide
When considering a commercial solar energy system for your Sydney business, there are several key items to consider. KUGA has put together a comprehensive guide covering the major considerations including:
- Commercial solar pricing guide for Metropolitan Sydney
- Extra installation costs to be aware of
- How to work out your financial returns on your commercial solar project
- Real-life examples of Sydney based installs and their electricity production figures
- Sydney – specific options to fund your commercial solar install
- How many rebates are associated with a commercial solar system in Sydney
- Specific case studies on recent commercial jobs completed in Sydney Metro area
All commercial solar installations are unique. KUGA offers a detailed feasibility report free of charge for your business.
Commercial solar price guide for businesses in Sydney
KUGA has provided examples of basic commercial solar installs in Sydney. Note that the table below provides typical price ranges and does not cover all examples. The solar pricing also does not include solar battery storage.
|Solar System Size||Price range for commercial solar installations in Sydney|
Additional costs to be aware of for your commercial solar job
Solar Network Protection
All commercial inverters are designed to shut down in the event of a power cut. Any commercial solar inverter which is above 30kW in capacity needs a separate network protection unit. This is a legal requirement in Sydney and is included in any KUGA commercial solar install. Adding this equipment can increase the price of your solar install by $6,000 – $7,000.
Extra cost associated with adding tilt to commercial solar panels
Looking at commercial solar systems around Sydney, you may note that some are laid flat on a roof. Other solar panels are tilted to face the sun more directly.
Whether or not your Sydney business needs to tilt its solar panels depends on two factors:
- Building orientation
- The times of day the business consumes energy
For a detailed explanation as to how KUGA designs commercial solar arrays in Sydney, refer to our panel tilt guide. The table below shows the cost of adding tilt onto your commercial solar system.
|Size of Solar Installation (kW)||Number of Solar Panels||Cost of panel tilt|
Length of the cable run from solar inverter to switchboard
In an ideal world, a solar installation would have inverters located as close as possible to the switchboard. The length of solar cabling ought to be minimized for both cost and voltage drop reasons. Unfortunately, the design of a building or internal equipment may necessitate extra cabling.
Using the same commercial solar size examples as above, note the cost of adding extra cable run to your commercial install.
TIP: Ensure you always ask your Sydney solar installer where the inverters are going to be located. Ensure extra cable run has been allowed for if it cannot be avoided.
Sydney Commercial Solar - Additional Cabling Costs
|Size of Solar Installation (kW)||Solar Cable Diameter Required||Extra Solar Cost per 10m Length|
How much solar will your commercial system produce in Sydney
There is a difference in sunshine, therefore, solar production is different in each state. For Sydney, the average daily energy production per kW of solar is 3.9kWh. This means a 100kW system should produce 390kWh of electricity.
For Sydney, see the below examples of solar production and output from Kuga’s installs.
99.9KW Sydney Commercial Solar Production Data
KUGA Electrical actively monitors the performance of all their solar installations for their Sydney clients. In this example, the client’s actual solar production is compared with the business case. The real dollar savings are also calculated, based on their electricity rates.
You will note that KUGAs estimates to the Sydney factory were understated by 5.4%. The conservatives estimates ensure your Sydney business will achieve the electricity savings promised by a commercial solar installation.
|Solar System Size||Annual Production||Theoretical Production||Average Electricity Rate||Annual Savings|
200KW Sydney Commercial Solar Production Data
In a similar example, one of KUGAs actual 200kW solar installs was compared to the business case. The savings generated for this large Sydney business were 7.4% higher than estimated.
|Solar System Size||Annual Production||Theoretical Production||Average Electricity Rate||Annual Savings|
How many rebates can you get with your commercial solar installation in Sydney?
Any commercial solar system in Sydney is subsidised. This is done under the STC, or Small Scale Technology Certificate (STC) programme. In Sydney, a solar installation will attract 14 STCs for every kW of solar energy installed.
A Sydney solar system over 100kW in size is also eligible for the rebate. In this case, the rebate is provided by way of LGCs, or Large Scale Certificates.
The difference between the two types of rebates is: STC solar rebates are claimed upfront before you pay for your system. In contrast, LGC solar rebates are paid pack to you over a period of 10 years.
Both STC and LGC rebates are traded differently and will have different market values at any point in time.
If your Sydney business is on the cusp of needing 100kW of commercial solar, it is worth considering the value of each rebate option.
The table below shows the difference in solar rebate for a 99.9kW (STC) and a 100 kW (LGC) installation.
Sydney Commercial Solar Rebate Values
|Solar System Size||Solar Rebate Category||Upfront Rebate Amount||Solar Out Of Pocket Cost||Lifetime Rebate Value|
Note: the STC rebate figures are actual values based on installing a 99.9kW commercial solar system on a Sydney business. The LGC values are approximate for a Sydney Solar install, because since they are claimed over a period of 10 years, there may be significant fluctuations in the market value
Commercial Solar Finance
There are a variety of ways to pay for your commercial solar installation on your Sydney business. In almost all cases, the business can finance the solar repayments to ensure $0 upfront. The solar will also generally remain cashflow positive over a 4-5 year term or beyond.
Below are some scenarios showing the funding options and when a Sydney business would select each.
It may make sense for your Sydney business to purchase solar outright if:
- The business has sufficient cash reserves
- Is looking to write off a significant amount of tax. If the commercial solar system is under $30,000 the asset can be fully depreciated over a 12 month period.
- The business wishes to avoid interest charges
- The owner doesn’t want to spend time on excess paperwork and approvals
Rent to own example in Silverwater, Sydney
Another popular solar funding option in Sydney is a “rent to own.” One of KUGAs installs in Silverwater has a 37kW commercial solar system. The funding benefits include:
- Cashflow positive of $5,776 each year, on a 7-year rental term.
- All repayments are 100% tax-deductible since they are expenses.
- There was an option to delay the first payment for 90 days, increasing the cash flow positive aspect. In summer periods, this Sydney business would have 90 days of savings before the first rental installment.
The risk-free way to get solar on your Sydney business
Many Sydney business owners are sceptical of the recent “boom” in solar installers. For them, they wish to reduce their electricity overheads without running the risk of their installer going belly-up. In this case a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is an attractive option.
Benefits of a commercial solar PPA include;
- No solar ownership. A third party borrows your roof to install solar
- Long terms are available (up to 20 years).
- Cheaper electricity rates than any conventional retailer are able to offer with guaranteed ZERO price increases over the duration of the contract.
Sydneys newest and most creative solar financing option has just launched
Sustainable Australia Fund (SAF) has existed since 2002. However, it was not until 2019 that it opened its solar financing services to the Sydney market.
SAF offers a unique type of finance known as an Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA). The loan is attached to the title of a commercial property. Any building upgrade including solar energy can be funded, provided there is an environmental benefit.
Repayements are collected via participating Sydney Councils, in the regular rates notices.
This is a great option for Sydney commercial property investors, as the costs can be passed directly on to the tenant.
Currently, the participating Councils in NSW are:
- Blacktown City Council
- Parramatta City Council
- City of North Sydney
- City of Sydney
- Lake Macquarie City Council
- Newcastle City Council
KUGA Electrical is one of the very few installers approved by ASF to complete their installs
Recent Commercial Solar Examples Installed in Sydney by KUGA Electrical
Sydney has great sunlight hours, high commercial solar rebates and a large industrial hub. The largest growth in commercial solar installs has been in Sydney. Some notable examples can be seen below:
300kW Commercial Solar Installation
Business Name: Maxton Fox
Location: Kings Park, NSW
System Size: 300kW
Solar Panels: JA 320W Mono Perc Half-Cell Solar Panels
Solar Inverters: Goodwe 50kW Commercial Solar Inverter
Maxton Fox is a manufacturer of Australian made commercial furniture and joinery. They are located in Sydney and had a requirement to reduce energy usage to remain competitive. KUGA Electrical completely overhauled their site by installing:
- 954 solar panels
- An upgraded switchboard
- A power factor correction unit
- LED lighting throughout
In 2019, this install was awarded the Master Electricians Energy Efficiency Project of the year for NSW.
99.9kW Commercial Solar Installation
Business Name: Arneg Oceania
Location: Mt Druitt, Sydney, NSW
System Size: 99.84kW
Solar Panels: JA Solar 310W Half Cell Solar Panels
Solar Inverter: SMA Sunny Tripower 25000TL Commercial Solar Inverter
Arneg is a manufacturer that provides energy-efficient products to the Australian retail sector. They implement sustainability into their own practices, and part of this was to install a 99.84kW commercial solar system on their Sydney factory.
The solar install was able to reduce the annual electricity bills from $62,000 to $35,000. In addition, they capitalized on the $56,000 upfront solar rebate, available under the STC program.
50kW Commercial Solar Installation
Business Name: Workright Edge
Location: Riverstone, Sydney, NSW
System Size: 50kW
Solar Panels: JA 300W Mono Perc Solar Panels
Solar Inverter: Goodwe 25kW Commercial Solar Inverter
Workright is a Sydney Based Manufacturer of edge protection systems. KUGA was able to reduce their electricity bill by over 90%, using a 50kW commercial solar installation.
Due to the layout of their roof, the solar panels had to be tilted to achieve optimum solar production.
Contact KUGA for your Sydney Commercial Solar Requirements
Wondering if solar power is right for your Sydney or NSW business? Have more questions regarding specific costs and returns? Contact the Sydney team on 03 8797 0190 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.