Return on Investment
The same basic principle is true for any business – it’s not really an investment if it doesn’t produce a tangible return. Power from the sun continues to provide substantial returns for decades to come: in terms of reduced operating costs, as an edge against utility inflation, and in the positive publicity and public goodwill created through environmental stewardship.
- Businesses installing photovoltaic systems before the end of 2019 can recover 30% of their investment costs through the available Federal Investment Tax Credit (FITC). After 2019 the credit is reduced each year, settling in at 10% for systems installed after 2022.
- There is a 100% property tax exemption for systems 5MW or less in size.
- Under the Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS) businesses can accelerate depreciation of photovoltaic system equipment.
Virtually Zero Maintenance
Today’s photovoltaic systems require almost no maintenance. Solar panels have no moving, so there’s little that can go wrong.
- Panel warranties are from 25 to 30 years, meaning that at the end of the warranty life, the panels are guaranteed to produce at least 80% of their original power.
- Inverter warranties start at 10 years and can usually be extended out to 20 to 25 years for an additional fee.
- If batteries are deployed, they’re covered under separate warranties, based on the specific type, but battery technology is advancing at a rapid rate and prices are continuing to drop.
Once a system is commissioned, it will provide years of worry free power.
Utility outages can have an overly large impact on a company’s bottom line. When production is halted by loss of power, suppliers and employees still have to be paid. A generator can be used to keep mission critical systems running; but generators have short warranty periods, they are very noisy, they need to be run on a regular basis, they require periodic maintenance performed by trained personnel, and they need constant re-fueling during sustained operations. Batteries on the other hand have a number of distinct advantages:
- Longer warranties;
- No maintenance;
- Soundless operation; and
- They recharge when the sun is shining.