How can solar power help your business achieve zero carbon?

Installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on your premises enables you to generate carbon-free renewable energy on site, right where it’s needed. Generating your own zero-carbon electricity reduces your reliance on electricity imported from the grid.

On-site solar panels with no capital outlay

One of the biggest barriers to installing solar panels for many businesses is the initial capital outlay. Return on investment periods can be more than eight years, and many organisations have more urgent operational investment priorities. To overcome this challenge, ENGIE has developed a fully funded on-site solar offer. This involves ENGIE handling all development, design, engineering, grid work and construction of the solar installation – at no cost to the customer.

Once the solar installation is operational and delivering energy to your business, ENGIE will charge you a simple unit rate for the electricity generated. This rate can be fixed for an agreed period, giving you long-term price certainty. Your business would also need to maintain a grid connection to purchase grid electricity from your energy supplier in the usual way, but the volume of energy you need would be reduced by the volume you receive from the solar installation.

Solar power reduces energy costs

Prices for solar PV energy have reduced significantly over the past few years, which makes buying on-site solar energy cheaper than purchasing electricity from the grid. Conversely, grid electricity prices are forecast to rise as the UK invests in new infrastructure.

By choosing a fully funded option, with no upfront costs to your business, you also avoid high business rate valuations, which would be incurred if you invested in your own solar panels. Recent business rate changes mean that businesses producing energy from self-funded on-site solar panels incur business rates approximately ten times higher than if they choose the fully funded route.

Reliable way to enhance green credentials

Solar generation is now a mature and well-understood technology, which businesses are familiar and comfortable with. It is also a scalable technology which can be adapted to suit the space available and the energy demands of your business.

Installing solar panels also makes a significant and visible contribution to your organisation’s environmental credentials. Solar panels on your site can be seen by visitors, customers and staff as an indication of your commitment to achieving zero carbon and minimising your environmental impact.

Who can benefit?

Businesses that will gain the greatest benefit from on-site solar installations are likely to be relatively large energy users consuming more than 1,000MWh per year, with a consistent demand profile, ideally over seven days per week. The business premises will need to have either a large roof space (more than 2,000sqm) or an area of land or car park available for the solar panels. The fully funded arrangements are also simpler if the business is an owner-occupier, rather than leasing its buildings. To gain optimum benefits from the solar installation, the business should be committed to remaining on the site for at least 15 years.

Maximise your zero carbon potential

ENGIE is already working with many types of organisation to offer fully funded solar installations. It’s an attractive solution for organisations such as schools, hospitals, airports and manufacturers that are looking to maximise carbon reduction in ways that complement existing energy-efficiency, green mobility and renewable heating initiatives.

Solar installations can also be supported by complementary technologies, such as battery storage or electric vehicle (EV) charging networks. On site battery storage can be used to store any excess electricity generated, for use in the business outside daylight hours. Using your solar energy to power EV chargers gives staff or customers the opportunity to charge their electric cars with zero-carbon electricity. You can also charge your own electric vehicle fleet with zero-carbon power.

Why choose solar power to achieve zero carbon?
Generating energy from solar installations is a 100% carbon-free way to supply your business, reducing your reliance on imported energy from the grid.

Your solar panels can be installed with no upfront costs, enabling you to access this zero carbon technology with no capital outlay. Purchasing solar-generated energy will also reduce the overall cost of energy you buy for your organisation.

Solar panels can be installed with no impact on your operations, requiring no downtime or closures during installation. That’s an essential benefit for 24-hour operations like hospitals, manufacturing facilities and transport hubs. Furthermore, choosing a fully funded installation means that the development and the ongoing maintenance or administrative responsibilities will be taken care of by ENGIE.

Your partner in the zero-carbon transition
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