Hanover South Lamar Commercial solar installation in Austin, Texas

Commercial Solar Panel Installation and Design

Utility costs are one of the largest expenses for most businesses. And as your company grows, it consumes more energy — for lighting, HVAC, production, computing, and more. 

Compounding the issue, commercial utility costs continue to rise every day. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the U.S. already spend more than $60 billion a year on energy.  And energy market experts predict that the increases in the average per-kilowatt-hour cost of electricity will persist long-term.

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How Can Solar Power Help With Rising Costs?

That’s where solar energy enters the picture. When you’re using a free and inexhaustible source of energy, your bottom line is less affected by energy market fluctuations. As a result, you can drastically reduce — or even completely eliminate — monthly electricity bills. Those savings can then be redirected back into your organization, making solar energy a true investment for your business.

Still, the decision to install solar is a big one. In order to recoup your initial investment as quickly as possible, you need a partner who will help you both select an appropriate system for your facilities and help you maximize your return on investment.

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Your Full-Service Solar Energy Partner

At Freedom Solar, we’re more than a commercial solar panel installer. We offer full end-to-end solar solutions and complete project management from start to finish. Our services include free site analysis, engineering and design services, financing, rebate application, installation, permitting, inspections, monitoring, and ongoing service and maintenance.

Companies like Whole Foods, Office Depot, Cube Smart Storage, The University of Texas at Austin, and Strictly Pediatrics Surgery Center turn to us for commercial solar panels in order to lower operating costs, reduce tax liability through government credits and accelerated depreciation, and grow revenues by differentiating from competitors.

Want to know more?

Request a Site Analysis.

  1. Send us your info.
  2. We’ll contact you to schedule an appointment.
  3. An energy consultant will meet with you at your home or place of business or virtually.
  4. You will get a custom proposal with system size, design, costs, financing, and savings.

We respect your privacy. Your info will only be used to contact you and to qualify your roof for solar.
By clicking “Contact Me” you authorize Freedom Solar to call you and send you pre-recorded messages and text messages at the number you entered above, using an autodialer, with offers about their products or services, even if your phone number is a mobile phone or on any national or state “Do Not Call” list. Message and data rates may apply. Your consent here is not based on a condition of purchase.

Why should businesses go solar?

Commercial solar panels are a smart investment to lower your tax liability, reduce your operating expenses, and further your sustainability goals and marketing efforts.

For many businesses, solar is primarily a financial decision. The cost of solar installation is partially offset by federal and local incentives including tax credits, depreciation, grants such as the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) managed by the USDA, and rebates.

An investment in commercial solar power provides a strong internal rate of return (IRR) and a more favorable payback period than most residential systems.

Growing numbers of businesses in the United States are seeing the financial and environmental benefits of solar energy, leading to a record 3.5 gigawatts of projects under contract as of August 2018. Companies such as Walmart, Kohl’s, and Amazon are leading the way, with growth across many corporate sectors.

The Benefits of Solar

Reduced operating costs thanks to thousands of dollars of savings on monthly electricity bills

Lower tax liability with the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) and accelerated depreciation
High internal rate of return on a long-term warrantied asset
Hedge against rising energy costs
Marketing and PR opportunities related to sustainability efforts and a lower carbon footprint

What Types of Companies Should Go Solar?

As one of the national leaders in solar, we’ve had the privilege of working with some of the most esteemed businesses in a wide range of industries. In our experience, commercial sectors that benefit from solar include:

  • Agriculture
  • Architects, engineers & contractors
  • Auto dealerships
  • Education & nonprofits
  • Enterprise
  • Government & military
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality (hotels & restaurants)
  • Local business
  • Manufacturing, distribution & storage
  • Multi-family & assisted living
  • Office buildings
  • Retail
  • Water districts

Other Considerations

There are a few additional factors that you’ll need to consider when evaluating solar for your business.

Businesses that make a good fit for solar:

  • Own the building or property and have a large unobstructed area on the roof or grounds
  • Have a roof that is in good condition (for rooftop solar)
  • Have higher electrical loads during the day and/or the summer
  • Have a passthrough ownership structure with significant tax liability

Solar may not make as much financial sense for companies with shaded facilities, a roof or electrical service that requires repair or upgrade, or who do not have the capital to invest in a system upfront. Financing options are available but typically require a down payment.

Understanding the Installation Process

Freedom Solar is your partner in solar power, from the minute you first get in touch until the day your system is turned on — and beyond. Every installation goes through the following 6 steps.

Consultation

We work to maximize your investment in commercial solar panels and exceed your expectations. That begins with your custom proposal and in-person site survey. We provide a detailed analysis of your system layout, cost and savings benefit including applicable tax credits and rebates, performance estimate, energy offset, preferred solar panel and other equipment, timeline to completion, and financing options.

Design

For Freedom Solar, no two commercial solar installation projects are alike. Each system is specifically designed to meet your needs, and the limitations of your building’s structure and budget. We will design each system to comply zoning restrictions, mounting and location limits, and to make it as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

Financing

Freedom Solar provides various options to work within your budget. With the solar tax credit, 26% of all solar energy system installation costs are subtracted directly from your federal income tax payments! Financing options include cash purchase, operating lease, capital lease, and Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

Permitting

Let us handle the paperwork. Freedom Solar takes care of all permitting associated with your new solar panel installation, including all utility interconnection agreements, net-metering applications, local building and electrical permits, and all rebate incentive documents.

Installation

You only want the best for your commercial solar installation. Our NABCEP-certified teams build systems focused on craftsmanship with minimal disruption to your schedule. We do not subcontract any portion of the solar installation process. Rest assured, every team member attending your job is a full time, fully trained employee of Freedom Solar. Let us handle every detail of your solar panel installation. We install solar panels as well as solar batteries and generators for companies across the United States.

Monitoring

Complete customer service means that we are fully invested for the life of your commercial solar panel system. Freedom Solar monitors performance to ensure that your panels achieve optimal output every day. If we detect an issue, we address it. In addition, your new system includes a web-based application so that you can monitor your savings in real time, anytime.

Service Department

Commercial Solar Panel Costs and Pricing

One of the most common questions business owners ask is “How much should I expect to spend on a solar panel system?” The answer depends on a few different factors, such as the gross cost of solar panels, the value of up-front financial incentives and your average monthly electricity use.

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Commercial Solar Calculator

Learn how to calculate the costs and benefits of owning a solar power system for your business and review the metrics that drive business decisions about whether to invest in solar.

Project Financing

Solar is a low-risk, high-return investment if you have the cash to purchase it outright. But because solar energy drastically reduces your commercial power costs, it’s a wise business investment regardless of how it’s financed.

We want to help make the journey to solar energy as simple as possible, offering a monthly payment that is cash-flow neutral from day one, as well as interest rates as low as 2.99% and $0 down payment options. 

There are also plenty of available financial incentives from states, utility companies, and the federal government. We’re here to help you take advantage of them all, making solar an affordable long-term investment for your business.

Want to know more?

Request a Site Analysis.

  1. Send us your info.
  2. We’ll contact you to schedule an appointment.
  3. An energy consultant will meet with you at your home or place of business or virtually.
  4. You will get a custom proposal with system size, design, costs, financing, and savings.

We respect your privacy. Your info will only be used to contact you and to qualify your roof for solar.
By clicking “Contact Me” you authorize Freedom Solar to call you and send you pre-recorded messages and text messages at the number you entered above, using an autodialer, with offers about their products or services, even if your phone number is a mobile phone or on any national or state “Do Not Call” list. Message and data rates may apply. Your consent here is not based on a condition of purchase.

What are Commercial Solar Panel Systems?

Commercial solar panel systems are individually designed, custom-made, grid-tied solar power systems for commercial buildings. Freedom Solar designs, installs, maintains, and monitors commercial solar power systems, and we work with customers to calculate your return on investment, apply for relevant rebates, secure solar system financing, and manage your installation project from start to finish including permits and inspections.

Companies like Whole Foods, Office Depot, Cube Smart Storage, The University of Texas at Austin, and Strictly Pediatrics Surgery Center turn to us for commercial solar panels in order to lower operating costs, reduce tax liability through government credits and accelerated depreciation, and grow revenues by differentiating from competitors.

Types of Commercial Solar Panels & Systems

Commercial Solar Panel Cost

Types of Commercial Solar Panel Technology

Most commercial grade solar panels have at least 96 solar photovoltaic cells per panel, as compared to 60 or 72 cells for residential solar panels. Commercial and industrial solar applications tend to favor a white backsheet and silver frame, both of which slightly increase efficiency (by about 1% to 2%).

Commercial solar power systems typically use three-phase inverters, which provide more power than single-phase inverters. A three-phase inverter offers more voltage in a smaller size, and it is also less expensive.

Types of System Layouts

Commercial solar panels are usually installed on the facility’s rooftop, with different applications for flat and pitched roofs. The systems can also be installed on multi-vehicle solar carports or elsewhere on the grounds of the property. Our approach is to find the most cost effective way to attach solar to your specific application.

  • Ballasted commercial solar systems do not require penetration of the roof and are appropriate for flat roofs including TPO. There are two types of ballasted systems: east-west and south-facing. East-west systems resemble a wave that stretches across the roof, where the panels are connected end-to-end. These types of systems provide less output per panel but allow you to put more panels on a roof, resulting in higher overall annual solar power production. South facing systems provide more power per panel at a specific time of day, which can provide a better near term ROI. However, spacing is required between each row of panels for shade mitigation, which up to 25% of the roof cannot be covered with panels. On some flat roofs, the solar PV system can be attached using a torchdown method, but that tends to be more costly than ballasts.
  • Attached commercial solar panel systems are used for pitched roofs. Panels are attached with flashing to prevent water leaks on comp shingle roof types or with clamps on standing seam metal and R Panel roof types. Roof penetration is required for comp shingle and R Panel roof types, but not for standing seam metal.
  • Solar carports may be installed over surface parking or on top of parking structures (i.e. the top floor of a parking garage). Solar carports provide shade for vehicles along with solar power. In most cases the panels are still wired to the main facility’s meter.
  • Ground mount commercial panel systems may be installed when sufficient roof space isn’t available. These systems are typically less expensive than carports because fewer materials are required for the array infrastructure, but depending on their location on the property additional trenching may be required.

How Does Commercial Solar Work?

The principles behind commercial solar power systems are similar to residential systems but on a larger scale and typically with better financial returns. Solar panels are typically installed on the rooftop, either ballasted or mounted depending on the roof type, on the ground, or on a shade structure in a parking lot or parking garage.

Systems are low maintenance with lifetime warranties, depending on the solar panel and inverter manufacturer. Freedom Solar offers a 25-year workmanship warranty for all of our commercial solar energy systems.

Once installed, your grid-tied solar power system will generate power that is converted to alternating current at the inverter and then fed into your service panel, where it will power your facility. The grid will still provide the additional power required to meet your load, and any power produced by your solar system that exceeds your usage will be returned to the grid. Utilities offer net metering to credit your account for the excess power you generate.

What our Customers are Saying

Freedom Solar was highly rated, had excellent customer satisfaction, and a great product.
They were extremely willing to work with us on our needs, and they don’t outsource any of their work.

Quynh Rathkamp, Save the World Brewing

We couldn’t be happier with Freedom Solar Power’s work and service from start through completion.
The combined health, environmental and financial benefits of solar made it a great investment in the future.

Dr. Mark Smith, Strictly Pediatrics

Are you ready to go solar?

Commercial Solar Case Studies

Partner with an award-winning solar contractor for a hassle-free commercial solar power system installation. We offer attractive financing options, including new in-house financing, that combine with tax credits, depreciation, and local rebates to maximize your return on investment and shorten your payback period.

Covert Ford and Chevrolet of Hutto solar case study

Covert Ford and Chevrolet of Hutto

Locally owned twin car dealerships drive sustainable savings with solar power.

View Case Study

Strictly Pediatrics Surgery Center solar case study

Strictly Pediatrics Surgery Center

Austin surgical center builds a healthier, solar-powered future for kids and more shaded parking for families.

View Case Study

Rehme Steel Windows & Doors solar case study

Rehme Steel Windows & Doors

Texas manufacturer runs on 100% solar power to craft 100% American made premium home products.

View Case Study

Let’s Get Started

Request a Site Analysis.

The time is now to lower your costs and tax liability, before the federal investment tax credit steps down again. Contact us today to  take advantage of the financial, environmental, and marketing benefits of solar power.

We offer attractive financing options that combine with tax credits, depreciation, and local rebates to maximize your return on investment and shorten your payback period.

We respect your privacy. Your info will only be used to contact you and to qualify your roof for solar.
By clicking “Contact Me” you authorize Freedom Solar to call you and send you pre-recorded messages and text messages at the number you entered above, using an autodialer, with offers about their products or services, even if your phone number is a mobile phone or on any national or state “Do Not Call” list. Message and data rates may apply. Your consent here is not based on a condition of purchase.

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