Is it possible to set up a commercial solar power plant and make good profits from it? If you are asking this question at this instant, read on to find out the answer. There are usually two ways to obtain a solar power plant and the first one is the outright purchase. What this means is that you are going to buy a fully operational system. If you do this, you should expect to recover your money after around five years.
The next way to obtain a solar power plant is through signing a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement). So there will be a supplier who will install the plant at your business premises on your behalf and charge you nothing for it. However, after the commissioning of the plant happens, the supplier will install an energy meter that will determine the amount of money you will be paying per kWh received.
Things that make up the total cost of a solar plant system
The cost of the whole plant is largely influenced by the amount of electricity you aim to generate to meet the needs of your customers. It also depends on the amount of solar power subsidies and incentives provided by the government and the condition of the power plant components. Here is a break-down of the total cost likely to be incurred:
- Cost of solar panels or PV modules– These make up fifty to sixty percent of the overall solar power plant cost. PV or Photo Voltaic modules use a silicon cell to transform energy from sunlight to electricity. If you want to do a successful project, then be careful when selecting your solar panels. There are several brands selling these panels online and the only way to know the reliable ones is to carry out a thorough investigation. Always aim to choose a manufacturer who has been in business for a long time and provides a reliable warranty when one buys their PV modules.
- Cost of purchasing a solar inverter – This constitutes ten to fifteen percent of the entire solar power system cost. The work of a solar inverter is to convert direct current (DC) energy produced by solar panels into alternating current (AC) power. This component is also useful in that it ensures that the solar panels are producing optimum power under certain sunlight conditions. Best inverters have a lifespan of 10 years and come with five-year warranties, although you can purchase an extended warranty of up to 20 years.
- Cost of installing the solar panel structure – To know the real profits you could generate from a solar power system, consider the cost of mounting the solar panel structure. This cost constitutes about five to ten percent of the total plant cost. Materials such as galvanized steel and anodized aluminum are preferred for a system that is intended to last thirty years or more. These materials are the best in coastal areas with salty mist, places with heavy rains or in sites that are closer to chemical plants that release corrosive vapors. If you intend to install your plant in a dry area, then a painted mild steel mounting structure is fine.
- BoS(Balance of System) – It makes up five to ten percent of the overall cost of installing a solar power plant. It entails both AC and DC cables, protection devices like fuses and surge protectors, earthing material, and switch gears.
- Cost of electrical design and labor – Lastly, you have to consider the cost of power plant design and labor when setting up an industrial solar power plant. The power plant design entails all the above-mentioned components plus their ratings and grades. These should be selected wisely to ensure that the whole plant performs optimally. Likewise, system installers should be picked cautiously to make sure that they create a safe, efficient and profitable system.