solar panels
5 key considerations to prioritise with solar panels on factories
8th November 2022

Here at Low Carbon Energy, we have a decade of experience in installing commercial solar panels for a wide range of clients in a variety of industrial sectors, from aerospace to manufacturing. (Our work for Boeing is one of our most high-profile case studies, for example.)

That means you can trust our experts to know exactly what’s involved in installing commercial solar panels on factories – so if you’re planning a factory installation of your own, here are some of the top priorities you should look at first!

factory solar panels

Do you need planning permission?

We’ve recently written a more in-depth post on exactly when you need planning permission for solar panels. To summarise it very briefly, in most cases you won’t do, as they’re classed as ‘permitted development’. Even so, it’s still a good idea to check with your local authority in case. That might seem a bit of a hassle, but breaching local planning laws, accidentally or not, could mean that you’re forced to take your entire installation down, even if it’s complete. It’s rarely worth the risk!

The location of the roof

Once you’ve settled the question of planning permission, and you’re ready to move on to the next stage of the process, the next task will involve a general assessment of the roof you have earmarked to host your commercial solar panels.

It’ll need to be checked for any potential obstructions throughout the day, such as any surrounding tall buildings, walls, or even trees which might end up blocking the sunlight as it moves across the sky. That can end up having a noticeable impact on how much energy your solar panels are capable of producing. If it looks like any of these might be an issue, it’s worth double checking with an expert whether there are any solutions, or even any suitable alternative roofs on your premises that you could consider instead.

Your energy requirements

As part of the overall planning process, at some stage you’ll need a detailed breakdown of your organisation’s individual energy profile. It’s important to know how much energy you’re currently consuming, as it can then help you to work out how much energy you plan to cover with your new commercial solar panels – ultimately helping you come to an informed decision about how many you want to install.

Happily, this is something we do as standard for all of our clients anyway here at Low Carbon Energy, so if you choose us, you can always count on our knowledge and expertise to make the entire process go as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

The condition of the roof

Once you’ve finalised your decision as to which roof you’re going to use, it will need to undergo a professional inspection to ensure that it’s fully capable of safely supporting your solar panels. The average weight of a solar panel is 20kg, so depending on how many you intend to install, it can all add up to extra weight that can run into three figures, so your roof needs to be able to handle it!

It’s worth us saying that once again, this is a service we provide as standard here at Low Carbon Energy, so you can always enjoy complete peace of mind.

Government incentives or schemes

A final consideration to look at – before you get on with the business of actually installing your solar panels – is the question of government incentives. As part of the UK’s commitment to achieving Net Zero within the next few decades, the government periodically launches various initiatives and schemes to encourage greater take-up of solar in commercial businesses and the general public.

The Feed-In Tariff is one particularly high-profile example, but unfortunately at the time of writing this has long since ended. At Low Carbon Energy, our experts make it our business to keep up to speed with the latest government initiatives, so when you approach us to help you with your solar panel installation, you can count on us to let you know of any currently-running schemes that you might be able to benefit from.

That’s the basics covered! If you’re already all set to move forward with your commercial solar plans, that’s exactly where we can help.

Our experts have over 30 years of combined experience, having helped SMEs and large corporations across a wide variety of sectors transform their business’ energy supply. Each of our installations is bespoke, and we tailor your solution on your specific energy profile, helping us to maximise carbon reductions and save you up to thousands of pounds in energy bills.

To find out how we can help you, feel free to give us a call today on 01282 421 489!

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