If you are looking at solar for a commercial property, never go with just one bid. Always find a way to find more than one bid. As many as possible will be best.
The best way to go solar, or find any efficient energy system bid is to have multiples to choose from. To start, it helps to have a ‘Request for Proposals’ out to the public so contractors know exactly what your needs are. Don’t know your needs? Well that’s where Northwoods Sustainable Solar comes in to place. A more detailed request will get you more detailed bids. It is not always the cheapest bid you will want to go with, but we understand how things work in this world. So the more accurate request you have, the better the proposals will be. The cheapest one will not always be what you want in the long run.
Commercial properties can be complex when considering solar due to the ‘demand charge’ some facilities may be facing with their utility company. The power output of a PV system is reliant on the irradiance of the sun at any given moment. There are other control measures that need to be in place in order to keep that demand of power down to a certain amount to stay on a better rate schedule. So a PV system may include some other measures to really lower your overall utility bill. These are costs that should be considered before a larger solar energy investment.
Farms are the best commercial property to have a solar electric system. Typically farms have a larger energy consumption during the summer months which falls in line with solar production. There are also more grant opportunities for agricultural businesses. Commercial businesses as a whole have more grant opportunities than homes now-a-days. I recently have helped 3 successful RECIPS grant applications get funded and follow through with their installations.
There are also grants out there for non-profits and properties like hotels and schools. The state and many other organization throughout Wisconsin offer competitive/non-competitive funding opportunities.