Factories are some of the biggest consumers of energy. Because of this, many companies are exploring the use of solar power as a way to reduce operating costs in the manufacturing process. Solar costs have been going down over the years and it may be getting closer to the time that factories consider solar as a real option.
Solar power became the most inexpensive source of energy last year. Solar is now cheaper than wind and its fossil fuel counterparts like natural gas. The biggest challenge of solar is the question of what to do for power supply at night or during bad weather when the sun is not out. Storage solutions help to the problem and many consumers still rely on grid-sourced electricity for part of the day for their homes.
Manufacturing plants and offices consume most of the energy they require during daylight hours. This means that commercial plants may benefit from solar power without needing to buy a storage solution to cover night time usage.
There are also economies of scale with solar power. The cost per unit goes down as the usage goes up. In fact, commercial solar installations are largely responsible for giving solar the title as cheapest energy resource in the world. Commercial solar installations can often get to ROI in a few years.
Factories are known for having flat roofs with lots of roof space to accommodate solar panels. The large, flat surface area of a factory building allows an easier and faster system installation while having fewer shading issues caused by nearby trees.
The energy market is in a state of rapid change. It’s not too early to start paying attention to what’s happening with the solar market and consider how your factory may benefit from a switch to solar energy. Even if you don’t jump off the grid cold turkey, you may find you can stick your toes in and find a hybrid solution that will still lower your operating costs and your carbon footprint at the same time.