Solar PV systems have come a long way in recent years and are now a viable energy source for commercial operations. Aidan Jenkins from solar power supplier Infinite Energy spoke to the Young Energy Professionals about about the rise of commercial solar.
Domestic solar PV in WA has seen solid growth in recent years, due in large part to the range of subsidies households have been able to access. Around 25% of all homes have solar PV in WA. Out of all buildings that have suitable roofs, the rate is 50%.
Every business needs electricity, which is typically sourced from powerplants run by fossil fuels. There was almost no commercial solar in the State in 2010. However, in recent years, reducing costs of industrial scale Solar PV and the need for energy security have been key drivers in the growth of the sector.
Take up of solar PV is having an effect on electricity load in WA, moving peaks to later in the day when grid demand is not offset by solar. This in turn lowers commercial charges for peak consumption by pushing IRCR for market customers to later in the day.
The companies taking up solar power are from a range of industries. Many businesses are finding that including solar PV in new building plans is an economical option.
It is still early days for commercial solar in the state. There is huge growth potential in this emergent industry.