Solar energy takes careful thought for commercial construction

Panel: Solar energy involves complex decisions for commercial applications.


Tying solar energy with commercial construction comes with a more complex set of decisions than slapping a set of solar panels on the roof and watching the electric meter spin backward, reports the Phoenix Business Journal .

Businesses need to take into account a host of factors that can determine how much money they will save, how long it will take to get a return on their investment, and whether those panels will be working in a few years, according to industry experts at a panel discussion on the issue at the CoreNet Global Desert Mountain Region meeting last week.

“When you don’t pick the right technology for the right application, you have a problem,” said John Balfour, president of PerfectPower Inc., a Phoenix-based consultant and supplier of solar components.

The declining cost of solar manufacturing has made that easier as more players jump into the market, electric rates increase, and a federal investment tax credit was extended, allowing companies to continue to claim up to 30% of the cost of a system. Utilities also have ponied up about one-third of the cost through rebates, the result of states pushing to get solar power adopted quickly.

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