Despite obstacles in 2020, no ceiling on C&I solar opportunities
- C&I,Business of Solar
The commercial and industrial (C&I) vertical continues solidifying its place alongside utility-scale and residential solar as a strong pillar of the renewable energy sector. With commercial solar power demonstrating its resilience and diversity during the past year, it should only continue drawing more new customers into its orbit.
Let’s take a look at how commercial solar demand is rising, and how EPCs and developers can use C&I Solutions to further boost system value.
Commercial solar demand increases
Despite the pandemic, slow growth and uncertainty, corporations purchased a record of 23.7GW of clean energy in 2020, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. This is up from 20.1GW in 2019 and 13.6GW in 2018.
While those numbers are based on corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs), the growth under these difficult conditions underscores corporations’ commitment to their renewable energy agendas. This demand for renewable energy will only continue to increase as more businesses work toward reaching their clean energy and other ESG goals.
There’s plenty of room for more growth too. Recent market reports show commercial solar potential is staggering, with around 70 percent of commercial buildings a good fit for solar. With a variety of C&I solar installation types available, EPCs and developers have diverse options to take advantage of that available space.
Beyond on-site solar, many companies are also turning to community solar for their clean energy needs. These off-site subscription-based services are an especially good option for companies that:
- lack the roof or property space to install their own PV system
- have the roof space, but it’s shaded or not properly oriented to the sun
- rent property and do not own it
- lack the financial resources for an initial investment
This means in addition to traditional commercial roof or ground mount systems, community solar offers big opportunities for EPCs and developers to meet growing corporate demand.
However, as demand increases for C&I solar systems, it will be vitally important for EPCs and developers to find innovative ways to optimize projects and improve ROIs.
How smart solar C&I Solutions can help
Even with the numerous benefits of going solar - energy savings, sustainability, lower electric bills - there are still some organizations that remain hesitant. Although the economy remains on track to return to pre-pandemic levels, uncertainty remains.
Some companies might be tightening discretionary spending due to the continual shelter-in-place restrictions and this uncertainty, but they still want to reach carbon reduction goals. To help these companies reach these goals, EPCs and developers will need to deliver optimized PV system performance and maximum project value - all while mitigating risks.
Smart C&I Solutions can be the difference between a proposal where the numbers don’t work and one that delivers a cost-effective PV system.
For example, Trina Solar’s C&I Solutions team custom-scopes project designs that include critical input from inverter, tracking and racking partners. This ensures major component compatibility and, where possible, optimization, which removes uncertainty for customers and avoids delays.
Since each C&I property is different, an array of installation choices broadens the potential customer market while ensuring an ideal match of space and system. Trina’s C&I Solutions provide a diverse range of options to build the system best suited for the space, including:
- ground mount
- single-axis tracker system
In addition, bifacial modules combined with optimized racking can help further boost the energy yields on a commercial PV system and lower LCOE.
All together, C&I Solutions can help deliver project success and maximum overall project value.
Want to learn more about the opportunities for C&I solar? Reach out to the C&I Solutions team at Trina Solar today.
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