Solar energy has become an increasingly popular choice for businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills. But when it comes to choosing a solar system, companies often face a decision: rooftop or ground mount? Today, we’ll dive into the details of both options to help you make an informed choice.
Rooftop Solar Panels
- Affordability: One of the biggest draws of rooftop solar systems is their cost-effectiveness. Among all solar solutions, rooftop installations are the cheapest, making them a top choice for businesses eager to transition to renewable energy.
- Simple Approval Process: If you’ve ever been deterred by the thought of long and tedious council approvals, there’s good news. Most council bodies don’t usually require approvals for rooftop solar installations. Plus, assessing a building’s structural integrity for rooftop solar is generally straightforward, further simplifying the installation process.
- Direct Use of Power: Rooftop solar systems are commonly known as ‘behind-the-meter.’ This means the energy generated is directly consumed by the building, reducing reliance on the grid and reducing energy costs.
Ground Mount Systems
- Cost Considerations: As discussed in our article on choosing optimal ground mount systems, ground mounts involve a bit more in terms of foundation and support structures, nudging up the upfront installation price. Factors contributing to this include more extensive council application processes and the need for thorough structural assessments based on local soil conditions.
- Increased Engineering and Installation Complexity: Ground mount installations involve more than just the panels. The expertise required is varied, and there’s a significant civil component to consider, including the use of heavy machinery.
- Higher Energy Yield: Despite the higher upfront costs, ground mounts have a shining advantage – their solar energy yield. Many of these systems use an East/West tracking system, which can boost production by up to 30% compared to rooftop installations of similar capacity. Using larger, bi-facial panels combined with groundwork preparations like white crushed rock can further amplify this. These reflective surfaces enable panels to generate power from both sides.
- Economies of Scale: Bigger is often better when it comes to ground mount solar projects. As the project size grows, the cost per unit decreases, making them more cost-effective for larger installations. This is why you often find vast ground mount installations in regional areas where land is both ample and affordable.
- Virtual Power Purchase: Unlike their rooftop counterparts, most ground mount systems will feed a percentage of their generated power back into the grid. This system is known as ‘in-front-of-the-meter,’ allowing businesses to sell their excess energy or store it for future use.
Whether you’re looking at commercial rooftop solar panels or ground mount systems, both options have their unique advantages. Rooftop installations offer affordability and ease of installation, while ground mounts promise larger energy yields and benefits with scale. Your choice will depend on factors like budget, land availability, energy requirements, and long-term business goals. Regardless of the decision, the shift towards solar is a commendable and eco-friendly one.
Whether you’re interested in a traditional rooftop solar installation or want to explore the long-term, scalable benefits of a ground mount system, contact Kuga Electrical today so we can discuss your renewable ambitions.