Is solar a good choice for a commercial property?

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Kay Thornton-Cohen     Commercial Projects Manager for Solar Depot was happy to answer this at the Metro Networking Breakfast this morning.


“Never been a better time to buy Commercial Solar “

With the rising costs of electricity, the goverment STC prices and the lower cost of the solar system paybacks are around 2-3 years.


What capital equipment purchase can you get the government to pay around 40% of the purchase price ?


Small-scale Technical Certificate’s (STCs) are a tradable credit system for the greenhouse benefit of eligible technologies like solar PV system. They exist because of the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target set by the Federal Government and are paid for by energy producers so they can demonstrate they are meeting that target. The result for a solar customer is that the entire production of their system can be traded at the point of sale resulting in a substantial reduction in the buy price. The value of this discount varies on the size of the system purchased, current value of STCs on the market and the postcode of the installation. Currently prices are very high reducing the ROI time accordingly. The 40% is based on a 100kW solar system.

The STC’s are like shares. They can go up and down depending on the market demand. They are more than double what they were just a couple of years back.

On a 100kW commercial system the STC’s today would give you $86,484 off the cost of the solar.


South Australia’s electricity costs.

With electricty prices in South Australia contuning to rise at a rapid rate over the past few years,  solar paybacks are much shorter.

  • A solar system with the life of 25 years would be paid back between 2 – 3 years in most cases because of the high costs  you pay for elctricty.
  • This means the energy your system produces after the payback is free for the duration of the working life of the solar. Over 20 years.
  • The only on going costs would be the maintence. Panel cleaning and the replacement inverter around 12 -13 years.


Why is the cost of the solar system so much cheaper than a few years ago?

Just a few reasons.

  •  STC prices are higher
  • Lower product prices.
  • More efficent solar panels means less panels required.


There are so many solar companies out there, so who do I trust ?

A comapny like Solar Depot who’s owner Troy Ryan has been in the industry for over 25 years.



  • Solar Depot was one of the first companies in South Australia to enter the commercial market.
  • Kay Thornton-Cohen joined the company as Commercial Projects Manager 5 years ago. Today her  knowledge of SA Power Networks tariffs and her ability to read any electric bill  to provide you with the right solution for your companies solar and other energy saving solutions is second to none.
  • Solar Deport’s Electricans and installers are employees not Sub Contractors. This means, if there is a problem it will be fixed with no figure pointing between the solar company who sold you the system and the installer who put it on your roof.
  • Solar Depot have installed many commercial systems from small SME businesses to 200kW systems.
  • Solar Depot only use product of the highest quality. Inverters with 10 years warranty, web based monitoring, and panels from one of the worlds top panel company.
  • For system over 30kW SA Power Networks require a special application, Network Protection Unit with augmentaion to protect the network. Solar Depot have this covered.

Picture3 200kW

What other ways can I reduce my business electricty costs?

Solar Depot can offer a full solution including solar LED light and Air conditioning optimisation.


How many business owner just pay the electric bill because they dont understand it?

A high percentage of business owners have no idea how to read their electric bill. There some many different network tariffs. It can be a nightmere trying to understand it. This is why you need an expert like Kay to do it for you.

She can even advise you as to whether you are on the right tariff and help you to change it, saving you a lot of money even before the solar is installed.


Is a good investment for my company?

Solar will start to save you money from the day it is turned.

Decorating or other equioment might make to building look better but it dosent help the bottom line.


Can I finance my commercial solar?

Yes there are many finance options for commercial solar. Even if you rent the building there options. You can lease or chattel finance.

A Professional solar company like Solar Depot will be able to head you in the right direction.


If am a landlord can I have  the solar installed and charge my teanants for the electricity?

Yes, there are many landlords who do this. There is an agreement between tenant and landlord to buy the electicity at a better price than the tenant currently pays so it is a win win for everyone. It can work even if the tenant has the electricity in their name. With the monitoring available it is very easy to calculated the power that has been generated by the solar, making it very easy for this option to work.

If you want exprt advise contact Kay.

Solar Depot_logo_CMYK

Commercial Projects Manager.  Kay Thornton-Cohen


Mobile:     0409709146















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