Centrica Business Solutions released a “Buyers Guide to Solar” to help large energy users better understand the ways they can improve their organization’s energy efficiency and operational performance.
The 18-page guide provides an end-to-end overview of solar and the option to combine solar and storage as an integrated solution. The report also describes the economics of going solar, various financing options, types of solar installations, and technology and system monitoring to verify productivity.
We’re now seeing the costs coming down, and more run hours where we can finance projects similar to Solar PPAs,” said Stephen Prince, Head of Centrica Business Solutions North America. “We can transact and include storage and the economic value in a number of different contract structures. Even a year ago it was limited.”
Solar in Use
Centrica Business Solutions installed a solar system at Reed Intermediate School in Newtown, Connecticut, which reduced energy costs by 43% with an estimated savings of $1.5M over 25 years. Financed through a Power Purchase Agreement with the Connecticut Green Bank, the building owners could go solar with no upfront costs, delivering immediate savings on electricity. In some states, there are robust incentives that have made solar more affordable for organizations considering renewable energy sources.
Incentives, coupled with declining costs, are driving more organizations toward renewable energy.
“The cost of solar and energy storage continues to decline at a rate that exceeds predictions even with tariffs,” said Prince.“We’re seeing rapid maturation of energy storage. The financing community is getting more comfortable how to underwrite big projects, instead of one-offs or backed shared savings agreements.”
In September, Centrica announced the purchase of Vista Solar, a leading California solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company serving commercial, institutional and industrial customers. Serving customers from coast to coast, Centrica Business Solutions has a dedicated team of solar experts to help maximize savings and efficiencies.
The Future of Energy Use
In August, Centrica published a study that found most businesses will take control of their own energy use by generating a quarter of their electricity onsite by 2025, with 81% of US businesses predicting this change will take place in just seven years.
The study of more than 1,000 global businesses was launched to identify the key drivers and barriers to adopting new energy approaches including battery storage, on-site generation and demand side response.
Around one-quarter of businesses have already invested in on-site generation in the form of solar and/or combined heat and power (CHP) with one-third considering investing in these technologies. The increase in demand for flexibility that rewards businesses for increasing, decreasing or shifting their energy use has been identified as an opportunity by 44% of businesses planning to feed energy into the grid in the future, according to the report.