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How to Choose the Best Solar Business Model for Your Company

Solar Business Model

India’s Ambitious Solar Energy Goals

The solar business model is crucial for determining how solar power plants function in India’s quest for a solar-powered future. This model specifies how income is earned, either by selling the energy generated or by using the electricity produced on-site and saving money. The solar business model affects many aspects, such as who owns the project, how much investment is needed, how operations and maintenance are handled, and what returns the stakeholders can expect.

As India makes significant strides towards its clean energy targets, currently boasting an impressive 72.31 GW of installed solar energy capacity as of November 2023, the journey is far from over. This is an impressive stride towards the initial target of 100 GW of solar capacity. Though the 100 GW mark has not yet been attained, India is not settling.

The country has set its sights even higher, aiming for a whopping 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. This includes all forms of renewable energy – solar, wind and more. As R.K. Singh, the Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy succinctly put it: “We’ll hit that 500 GW well before 2030.

This bold target reflects not only a numerical success but also India’s leadership in the global shift towards clean energy.

For businesses in India, the solar business model paves the way for financial incentives and opportunities, aligning seamlessly with the nation’s dedication to a sustainable and brighter future for all.

There are two main types of solar business models in India: the CAPEX model and the RESCO model. Each of these models has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the specific needs and preferences of the business owner.

CAPEX Model Explained

The CAPEX model involves the business taking full ownership and responsibility for the solar power system. This means the business purchases the solar panels, inverters, and other equipment upfront to install on their property. 

CAPEX Solar Business Model

The main elements of the CAPEX model include:

– High Upfront Investment: The business must pay the full capital expenditure (CAPEX) costs to purchase and install the solar system. This requires significant funds upfront but provides complete ownership.

– Long Term Savings: By owning the solar system, the business enjoys lowered electricity bills for decades. Once the upfront investment is recouped, the “free” energy from the sun provides excellent long-term savings.

– Full Control: The business has complete control over the solar system, panels, and maintenance. There is no third-party involvement.

– Tax Breaks: Government incentives like accelerated depreciation and tax credits provide financial benefits that improve ROI on the solar investment.

Overall, the CAPEX model is ideal for businesses focused on long-term savings, full control, and leveraging tax incentives. The major barrier is the large upfront investment required. But for some, owning their own power plant is worth it for decades of nearly free solar energy from the sun.

 Pros of CAPEX Model

Ownership of your own solar power system through the CAPEX model provides some key advantages:

– Long-term Savings: By owning your own solar system, you can lock in low electricity rates for decades to come, insulating your business from ever-escalating grid tariffs and securing decades of free sunshine-fueled electricity. This gives you price stability and reduces your operating costs over the long run.

Tax Breaks & Incentives: The government offers incentives like accelerated depreciation and tax credits to make solar power investments more lucrative. These can significantly boost your return on investment.

– Property Value Boost: Properties with solar power systems installed have higher valuation and fetch higher rents or sale prices. Going solar can directly increase the value of your business property.

– Control over the System: As the owner, you have full control over the solar power system installed on your property. You control all operations and maintenance and are not bound to any external party.

 Cons of CAPEX Model

The CAPEX model requires a substantial upfront investment to purchase and install the solar power system. This can put a major dent in your capital expenditure budget. You’ll need to self-finance or take out a loan to cover these initial costs.  

As the owner of the solar power system, you are also responsible for all maintenance and repairs. This includes regular cleaning of the panels, inverter checks, and any fixes needed over the 20-30 year lifespan of the system. Proper maintenance is essential to keep your system performing optimally.

There are performance risks associated with owning your own system. Factors like shading, soiling, inverter failure etc. can impact energy generation. You’ll have to shoulder these production and revenue losses when issues arise.

As solar technology improves over time, your system may become outdated earlier than expected. Upgrading to newer, higher efficiency panels down the line will add to your CAPEX costs.

So while the CAPEX model provides long-term savings and control, the burden of upfront expenses, maintenance, and upgrade costs rests squarely on your shoulders.

 OPEX/PPA/RESCO Model Explained

The OPEX/PPA/RESCO model allows businesses to benefit from solar power without the major upfront investment required of the CAPEX model.

OPEX Solar Business Model

In this model, a third party such as a solar energy provider or RESCO (renewable energy service company) will finance, install, operate and maintain the solar power system on your property. As the business owner, you simply pay for the electricity generated by the solar panels based on a predetermined rate and term length outlined in a power purchase agreement (PPA).

Some key aspects of the OPEX/PPA/RESCO model:

– Third party ownership – The solar system is owned and operated by the service provider, not your business. This eliminates the need for any major upfront investment.

– Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) – A long-term contract to purchase the electricity generated by the solar power system, usually 10-15 years. The rate is lower than your utility but may be slightly higher than the CAPEX model.

– Operation, maintenance and performance – All responsibilities for operating, maintaining and ensuring optimal performance of the solar system lies with the service provider.

– Scalability – Businesses can easily scale solar capacity up or down through their PPA.

The OPEX model offers an accessible path to solar energy for businesses unwilling or unable to make major upfront investments. While you don’t own the system, it provides cost savings with minimal hassle.

 Pros of OPEX/PPA/RESCO Model

The OPEX/PPA/RESCO model offers several key advantages that make it an attractive option for many businesses looking to adopt solar power:

 No Upfront Costs

One of the biggest pros of the OPEX model is that there are zero upfront costs for the business owner. The RESCO handles the entire initial investment for purchasing and installing the solar panels and equipment. This allows businesses to avoid the huge capital expenditure required to buy their own solar power system. The business simply pays for the electricity generated by the system on a per unit basis. This predictable electricity bill each month is the only cost.

 Low Maintenance 

With an OPEX contract, the RESCO is responsible for all maintenance and repairs related to the solar power system. So the panels, inverters, wiring etc. are all looked after by the RESCO. The business owner does not have to worry about system upkeep or finding technicians to service the equipment as needed. This makes it a hassle-free arrangement.

 Easy to Scale Over Time

A major advantage of the OPEX model is the flexibility it offers in system sizing. If the business grows and energy needs increase, it’s easy to adjust the PPA and add more solar panels to scale up power generation. There’s no need for the business to make additional capital investments to expand the system. The RESCO handles upgrading the equipment as required. This scalability makes it easy to right-size the solar system for current energy needs.

 Cons of OPEX/PPA/RESCO Model

The OPEX/PPA/RESCO model isn’t without its downsides. Here are some potential cons to consider:

– Less control over the system: Since you don’t own the solar power system, you have less control over it. You can’t make changes or upgrades without approval from the RESCO.

– Potentially higher electricity costs: While you avoid the upfront investment, the electricity rates per unit could end up costing more over the long run compared to owning your own system. The RESCO needs to recover their initial investment and make a profit.

– Locked into a long term contract: OPEX/PPA/RESCO contracts typically range from 10-15 years – that’s a long-term commitment with little flexibility to change providers. It’s like signing up for a marriage to sunshine where divorce is not an option. Make sure you’re comfortable being tied to one RESCO for decades.

 Choosing the Right Solar Business Model

When selecting a solar business model, it’s important to reflect on your budget constraints, risk tolerance, and long-term goals. 

The CAPEX model may be the best fit if you want more control over your energy source along with tax deductions and incentives. Since you own the system under CAPEX, you benefit directly from government solar subsidies and accelerated depreciation. This allows you to maximize savings over the lifespan of the panels. Just keep in mind that the upfront costs will be higher and you take on more maintenance responsibility.

For businesses that want to avoid high initial investments, the OPEX model is very appealing. The third party finance provider shoulders the upfront panel and installation costs, so you can start benefiting from solar right away. However, electricity rates are slightly higher than the CAPEX model over the long run. And maintenance becomes the responsibility of the RESCO, not you.

Ultimately, choosing between CAPEX and OPEX depends on your budget, tolerance for risk, and goals for long-term savings or low initial outlay. Analyze your specific business needs to determine if the benefits of control and tax incentives outweigh the convenience and low startup costs. With the right solar model powering your company, you’ll be well on your way to joining India’s renewable energy revolution!

 Investing in a Sustainable Future

With India’s ambitious solar energy goals, businesses have an incredible opportunity to invest in a more sustainable future. Going solar doesn’t just make economic sense; it benefits the environment and allows companies to demonstrate social responsibility.

Solar energy generates power without any air or water pollution, reducing dependence on fossil fuels. Widespread adoption of solar can significantly lower India’s carbon emissions and improve air quality. Businesses that install solar panels lead by example and show that profitability and sustainability can go hand in hand.

India is also demonstrating global leadership in clean energy through its massive push for solar power capacity. The country’s commitment to adding 500 GW of renewable energy by 2030 sets an example for nations worldwide. When Indian companies adopt solar, they become part of this clean energy success story.

By choosing solar, businesses can power their operations sustainably for decades to come. The sun provides an endless, clean energy source. Investing in solar technology allows companies to reduce their environmental impact and become stewards of a greener future.

Going solar makes sense financially and ethically. With two attractive models to choose from, every forward-thinking business can find a way to profit from the power of the sun while advancing India’s renewable energy revolution. Leading this sustainability drive will enable the country to shine bright as a beacon of climate action and progressive vision.

Contact us today at +91-8320095024 or visit www.soleosenergy.com to learn more about how to choose the best solar business model for your company! Feel free to reach out with any questions or to start your solar journey!

solarize bharat solar panel

Take the next step in renewable energy by joining the Solarize Bharat pledge. Imagine your business not just as an entity benefiting from solar power but as a contributor to a nationwide movement, shaping the future of energy in our incredible nation.

Stay solar-powered and environmentally inspired!

P.S.: Share this blog with fellow solar enthusiasts to spread the word about the exciting world of solar energy!

Solar Trackers: Track the Sun and Boost Your Solar Output!

Solar Trackers

Should You Track the Sun?

The sun, our planet’s powerhouse, is a majestic force in the universe. Imagine harnessing its full potential for clean energy, but what if your solar panels aren’t catching all the rays? Enter the game-changing technology of solar trackers!

In this blog, we’ll embark on a journey into the world of solar tracking, unlocking its secrets and showing you, how it can supercharge your solar energy production. Moreover, are you ready to dive in and unleash the sun’s true power?

So, why the buzz about solar trackers?

Traditional solar panels, while wonderful, are static. However, as the sun traverses the sky throughout the day and seasons, they miss out on prime sunlight exposure. In contrast, solar trackers are the dynamic solution.

These ingenious devices actively follow the sun’s path, ensuring that your panels are perfectly angled for maximum energy capture. Think of it as turning your panels into sun-chasing robots; they are constantly seeking the most potent rays!

How do these sun-chasers work?

The magic behind solar trackers lies in their ability to adapt to the sun’s ever-changing position. Here’s how they work:

  • Manual Trackers: For areas with lower labor costs, these require manual adjustments to follow the sun. Imagine nudging your panels occasionally!
  • Passive Trackers: In contrast, these rely on a fluid with a low boiling point to trigger movement, like a sunbathing sunflower turning towards the warmth.
  • Active Trackers: The ultimate sun-chasers, on the other hand, these use motors, hydraulics, or even microprocessors for precise panel adjustment. Think of them as high-tech robots, constantly dancing with the sun.

But it doesn’t stop there! Modern trackers offer additional features:

  • Cloudy Day Adaptation: Tilt panels horizontally to capture diffuse light even on gloomy days.
  • Wind Speed Adjustment: Sensors detect high winds and adjust panel positions for optimal protection.

Types of Solar Trackers: Choosing Your Sun-Chasing Champions

Not all sun-chasers are created equal! Solar trackers come in two flavors, each with its own unique way of following the sun:

  • Single-Axis Trackers: These trackers focus on one dimension, tilting either east-west (horizontal) or north-south (vertical). Ideal for low-latitude (horizontal) or high-latitude (vertical) installations, they maximize energy capture through summer and winter sun shifts.
TPSAT (Tilted Plane Single Axis tracker)
TPSAT (Tilted Plane Single Axis tracker)
TPSAT adjusts the tilt of solar panels along a single axis, following the sun’s seasonal movement for optimal energy capture.
HSAT (Horizontal Single Axis Tracker):
HSAT (Horizontal Single Axis Tracker)
HSAT rotates solar panels from east to west on a fixed horizontal axis, maintaining an optimal angle for sunlight exposure throughout the day.
TSAT (Tilted Single Axis Tracker)
TSAT (Tilted Single Axis Tracker)
TSAT tilts solar panels along a single axis to track the sun’s movement, ensuring efficient sunlight capture with limited tilt angles.
  • Dual-Axis Trackers: These trackers track the sun in both east-west and north-south directions. Consider them as acrobats, precisely adjusting to catch every ray. More expensive than single-axis trackers, their enhanced output in fluctuating sunlight conditions is advantageous.
Double Axis Solar Trackers

Choosing the Right Solar Trackers for Your Sun-Soaked Journey

The ideal tracker for you depends on your location, sunlight patterns, and budget. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Low-latitude regions: Opt for horizontal single-axis trackers to chase the east-west sun movement.
  • High-latitude regions: Choose vertical single-axis trackers to maximize capture throughout the year’s varying sun angles.
  • Areas with fluctuating sunlight: Consider dual-axis trackers for their superior adaptability and energy harvesting potential.
  • Limited budget: Single-axis trackers offer a cost-effective entry point into the world of solar tracking.
  • High energy demand: Dual-axis trackers can significantly boost your power production, making them ideal for large-scale installations.

Say goodbye to underperforming panels!

  • More Power, More Savings: Trackers can increase your solar energy output by a whopping 20-40%, translating to significant cost savings on your electricity bills.
  • Sustainable & Efficient: Trackers help us generate more clean energy, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.
  • Land Optimization: Produce more energy in the same space! Trackers can optimize land usage, making them ideal for areas with limited space.

However, are solar trackers suitable for everyone?

While incredibly beneficial, trackers come with some considerations:

  • Higher Initial Cost: The technology behind them makes them slightly more expensive than static panels. But remember, the long-term energy savings can outweigh the initial investment.
  • Maintenance Needs: Depending on the type, trackers may require some maintenance. Think of it as giving your sun-chasing robots a periodic tune-up!
  • Site Preparation: Installation involves additional considerations like trenching for wiring and ensuring suitable ground conditions.

So, should you join the solar tracking revolution?

If you’re looking to maximize your solar energy output, have sufficient space, and are willing to invest for long-term savings, then trackers are definitely worth considering. They’re particularly advantageous in locations with high solar irradiance and fluctuating sunlight conditions.

Trackers are not suitable for every situation. Consulting with a solar professional can help you determine if they’re the right fit for your specific needs and budget.

Ready to illuminate your path to sustainable energy? Contact us today at +91-8320095024 or visit www.soleosenergy.com to learn more about how solar trackers can transform your energy landscape! Feel free to reach out with any questions or to start your solar journey!

solarize bharat solar panel

Take the next step in renewable energy by joining the Solarize Bharat pledge. Imagine your business not just as an entity benefiting from solar power but as a contributor to a nationwide movement, shaping the future of energy in our incredible nation.

Stay solar-powered and environmentally inspired!

P.S.: Share this blog with fellow solar enthusiasts to spread the word about the exciting world of solar tracking!

How Mehsana Project is Reducing CO2 Emissions Equivalent to 17,820 Cars

CO2 Emission Reduction

Greetings, environmental stewards! Today, let’s embark on a journey into the realm of solar wonders specific to our diverse and dynamic country, India. Shift your focus from the financial advantages; let’s delve into the environmental superhero cape adorning solar panels over the rooftops of our nation. As ardent solar advocates at Soleos Solar Energy, we are proud to present our latest project in Mehsana, Gujarat. This project, called the Mehsana Project, has helped reduce CO2 emissions equivalent to 17,820 cars or 1,330,218 trees. In this blog post, we will explore the impact of the Mehsana Project and how it is reducing CO2 emissions.

Understanding Solar CO2 Savings

Let’s ground our discussion in a real-world case study: the Mehsana Project in Ahmedabad, installed by Soleos Solar Energy, boasting a capacity of 16.5 MW, or 16,500 kW. Every kilowatt-hour (kWh) generated by this solar system is a triumph against carbon emissions, contributing to a greener tomorrow while mitigating the city’s carbon footprint.

Solar Power vs. CO2 Emissions (Mehsana Project)

Understanding the carbon dioxide emissions associated with electricity consumption in India requires a nuanced approach, considering the energy mix and carbon intensity in different regions. According to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) report of 2022, the average carbon intensity for electricity generation in India hovers around 0.82 kilograms of CO2 per kilowatt-hour (kgCO2/kWh).

An analysis by the European Environmental Commission suggests that a single tree will sequester 22 kg (48.5 lbs) of carbon per year.

Mehsana Project in Detail:

– Total Capacity: 16,500 kWp

– Technology Used: 540 wp Bifacial Monocrystalline half-cut with TPSAT tracker

– Total Power Generation per Month: 3,465,000 kWh (approx)

– Total Power Generation per Year: 38,692,500 kWh (approx)

Mehsana Project Reduce CO2 emission

Carbon Emission Reduction Calculation:

1. Monthly CO2 Savings:

   – Carbon Intensity (kgCO2/kWh): 0.82

   – Monthly Carbon Savings = Total Power Generation per Month * Carbon Intensity

   – Monthly Carbon Savings = 3,465,000 kWh * 0.82 kgCO2/kWh

2. Yearly CO2 Savings:

   – Yearly Carbon Savings = Total Power Generation per Year * Carbon Intensity

   – Yearly Carbon Savings = 38,692,500 kWh * 0.82 kgCO2/kWh

CO2 emission reduction

The calculated carbon savings amount to 29,224,800 kg of CO2, or 29,224.80 tonnes annually. This is equivalent to removing 17,820 cars from the road for a year or offsetting the carbon emissions of over 29,224 tonnes of gas.

An analysis by the European Environmental Commission suggests that a single tree will sequester 22 kg (48.5 lbs) of carbon per year.

Trees Saved Per Year at Mehsana Project:

We find that the Mehsana Project’s annual carbon savings could potentially save around 1,330,218 trees per year.

Estimate Your Own carbon Emissions Savings

For those curious about their solar system’s impact, consider your annual solar generation and CO2 kg to visualise the positive change. In the case of the Mehsana Project, the 29,224,800 kg of CO2 savings translate into offsetting the carbon emissions of 1,614,739,500 smartphones charged or 518,100 propane cylinders used for home barbecues in the city.

Looking at the Big Picture with Soleos Solar Energy

At Soleos Solar Energy, we take immense pride in our local contributions and global impact. Our solar installations worldwide have significantly contributed to carbon savings, fostering a cleaner, greener future for cities like Ahmedabad and beyond.

As we celebrate the Mehsana Project’s environmental impact, let’s collectively recognise the broader implications of embracing solar energy. By harnessing the power of the sun, we not only reduce carbon emissions but also contribute to a more sustainable and resilient future for generations to come.

Ready to elevate your business into a solar hero? 💪 Take the next step by joining the Solarize Bharat pledge. Imagine your business not just as an entity benefiting from solar power but as a contributor to a nationwide movement, shaping the future of energy in our incredible nation.

solarize bharat solar panel

Ready to take the first step towards reducing carbon dioxide emissions from your own home? 💪 Contact us today at +91-8320095024 or visit www.soleosenergy.com. Let’s light up your journey to a greener, more efficient future!

Solar Metering: A Guide to Energy Optimization for Business Owners

What is Solar Metering

Welcome to the dynamic world of solar energy, where rooftops transform into power hubs. Today, let’s explore the essentials of solar metering — an indispensable tool for business owners seeking both savings and a greener footprint.

Ready to dive into the world of solar metering? Buckle up, because we’re about to shed light on how this nifty system can not only save you money on energy bills but also make your business a solar superhero.

Solar Metering Unveiled: Power When You Need It

Imagine your business rooftop decked out with solar panels, soaking in all that sunshine. Solar metering is like the behind-the-scenes maestro making sure everything runs smoothly. It connects to the electrical grid, storing any extra electricity your solar panels generate. Here’s the cool part – you only pay for the electricity you actually use. No waste, no fuss.

No batteries here, folks. Any surplus energy? It gracefully goes back to the grid. It’s not just good for your pocket; it’s a thumbs-up to Mother Earth—saving you money and contributing to a greener Earth.

How It Works

Now, let’s talk about Net Metering, the dance where your business becomes a savvy performer. When your solar panels outshine your energy needs, the bidirectional electric meter takes the spotlight. It records the extra electricity flowing back to the grid, earning you credits for every excess unit.

Meet Mr. Sharma from Jaipur, a small business owner. His rooftop not only powers his workshop but also adds a green touch to the city’s energy grid. Net Metering isn’t just reducing his energy bills; it’s turning his business into a green powerhouse.

Net Metering vs. Gross Metering: Picking Your Tune

Solar Metering
Solar Metering

Now, the big question – Net Metering vs. Gross Metering. If you’re a smaller business (up to 500 kilowatts), Net Metering is your go-to jam.

Net Metering: Your Business’s Perfect Fit

It’s like having a custom suit tailored just for you. You use the solar energy you generate, and any extra gracefully goes into the grid. You only pay for what you use. Simple and efficient – that’s Net Metering for you.

Let’s picture Mr. Sharma from Jaipur, who needs 25kW of electricity. To power up, he got a 15kW solar setup that kicks in when the sun is shining bright. During the sunny stretch, he produces an extra 2kWh of power, which he happily shares back with the grid. Alongside this, he pulls in 12kW of electricity from the regular utility grid.

Gross Metering: A Symphony for the Big Players

For larger ventures, it’s like joining a solar symphony. All your solar-generated electricity flows into the grid. You import electricity for your business needs and get compensated for your solar contribution. It’s a win-win.

Net Billing: Getting Paid for Your Solar Contribution

Now, let’s talk about the less-known hero—Net Billing. In this system, you get actual direct payment for any excess electricity generated and exported to the grid. The rates may be lower than retail tariffs, linked to the average power purchase cost of the discom. It gives distribution companies an advantage, but it’s a solid choice for businesses aiming for long-term gains.

In a nutshell, whether you choose Net Metering for tailored efficiency, Gross Metering for a grand symphony, or Net Billing for direct payment, solar metering empowers your business with solar energy. It’s not just about saving on energy bills; it’s about contributing to a sustainable future.

The Verdict: Powering Your Business with Solar Energy

As a business owner, choosing between Net Metering and Gross Metering is like picking your business’s theme song. Tailored efficiency or a grand symphony—pick based on your size, needs, and vision.

Solar metering isn’t just about saving money; it’s about making your business a solar superstar, powered by the sun and marching towards a cleaner tomorrow. Ready to shine in the solar spotlight? Join the solar revolution today!

Ready to elevate your business into a solar hero? 💪 Take the next step by joining the Solarize Bharat pledge. Imagine your business not just as an entity benefiting from solar power but as a contributor to a nationwide movement, shaping the future of energy in our incredible nation.

Ready to make your business a solar hero? 💪 Contact us today at +91-8320095024 or visit www.soleosenergy.com. Let’s light up your journey to a greener, more efficient future!