Aside from the additional income, why should business owners enter into a solar lease for a rooftop or parking lot?
You may have recently been contacted by a solar developer for a commercial solar lease or read about large companies like Facebook or Walmart installing solar panels on a rooftop. You may be asking what the benefits of a commercial solar lease includes. What is the difference between leasing your rooftop, parking lot to solar and investing in a solar panel project?
After more than a decade of developing solar projects on leased and owned sites, we have extensive experience with the pros and cons of both.
Most solar developers are looking for large commercial rooftops or parking lots that can support utility-scale solar projects. Usually, rooftop or parking lots smaller than 25,000 square feet will not support the investment, unless they are part of a series of projects grouped together.
The solar lease process works the same as any other solar development: the business owners receive a free assessment of the rooftop or parking lot, where the solar project is best suited. Then, depending on the results of the assessment, we offer a lease.
This article will guide you through the benefits of commercial solar leases, including an outline of the pros and cons of installing solar on commercial rooftops and parking lots.
The Pros of Commercial Solar for Business Owners
The pros of commercial solar leases range from financial, avoiding future pain, to social responsibility.
Additional Income Source from Solar Leases
First off, it is a good, strategic financial decision. These installations do not require any upfront investment from the property owner. Instead, the lease can either come as a large upfront payment or annual payments spread out over the lease term. As an add-on to direct financial impact, property values also increase with solar panel installations on rooftops.
Avoiding Future Costs
In these unprecedented times, it may be difficult to think ahead to 2024, but for many New York city property owners, it is a necessity. Recently, several local laws were signed into place that will penalize buildings that have not reduced their carbon emissions by 2024. Instead of paying to implement measures to reduce emissions, the other option is to sign a solar lease and get paid to reduce carbon footprint.
Add to Your Social Corporate Responsibility Portfolio
Before the fallout from COVID-19, climate and the environment were fast becoming the most pressing pillar of a company’s social responsibility portfolio. By taking a green initiative such as installing solar panels on their property, companies could demonstrate their environmental accountability to their stakeholders, employees and to the public. Now, building up your portfolio is still a possibility without investing additional resources.
The Cons of Commercial Solar Leases
The cons of commercial solar leases are really the pros to owning a solar project on your rooftop or parking lot. Instead of immediate financial rewards, owned rooftop solar will take several years before financial impact will be seen. Yet, once those rewards come into effect, they can be larger and last longer – as long as the lifecycle of the array. Solar panels can last more than 25 years, and the benefits can last just as long.
The upfront investment has become less of a burden in the past few years. Costs of solar have steadily declined in the past few years, and there is still the Solar investment tax credit, which can help to offset the initial capital expenditure.
- Owning your solar project can have the following benefits:
- Control over longer-term financial rewards
- Direct reduction in your energy costs through net-metering
Which Industries Benefit from Commercial Solar
Any organization or company that has a large rooftop or parking lot has a lot to benefit from going solar, whether it is owned or a solar lease. Commercial solar leases often fall into one of the following industries:
- Large shopping malls or big-box retailers
- Distributors and manufacturing companies
- Cold storage providers
- Real estate developers
- Colleges and universities
Solar Panel Locations: Rooftop or Parking Lot
Solar panels can be installed on the rooftops of company buildings, or the surrounding parking lots. There are a few benefits to either location, as outlined below.
- Large rooftops can support huge solar arrays
- Perfect for buildings with large flat rooftops
- Improves property value
- Multiple opportunities for companies with various locations
Solar Parking Lots
- Constructive use of space
- Does not impact the amount of parking spaces
- Customizable for each company’s needs and branding
- Covers employee and customer cars
- Allows for easy maintenance of the lot
Deciding to make the switch to renewable energy can have a significant financial and environmental impact on businesses. When companies choose to go solar, they show that they are making a commitment to clean energy, while also saving money themselves. As we described above, business owners can easily choose to install solar on their rooftops or parking lots, providing clean energy not only to themselves but also to their surrounding community.
If you want to learn more about commercial rooftop solar, please visit our page here.
Are you a business owner? Contact us to get more information on installing solar on your rooftop or parking lot.