Solar panels harness energy from the sun and send it to your battery and to the electrical grid, which then send electricity to your building. When the grid is out, your solar panels only feed your battery, which powers your building. Solar panels alone lower electrical costs and reduce C02 emissions, but do not prevent you from losing power. To have reliable power, you need a battery.
If you have an existing generator, you can incorporate solar + storage and continue to use the generator, but now as the back up to the battery. In a power outage, the generator will only turn on if the battery drops to a low state of charge and is not being recharged fast enough from the solar. Utilizing an existing generator can extend the time you can remain open and operational during a power outage.
There are multiple ways to pay – from a no-up-front-cost Energy Service Agreement (ESA) to direct cash rebates of up to 50% from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Plus, microgrids will often save you more money over their lifetime than they cost to install. CHARGE works with you to understand which financing solution makes the most sense for your goals.
An Energy Service Agreement (ESA) is a common financing structure that lasts 5-20 years, depending on the goals of your health center. This is a turnkey solution where Collective Energy will arrange for the design, permitting, financing, and installation of a microgrid on the health center at no cost to the center. Collective Energy then sells the power generated by the system to the heath center at a fixed rate that is typically lower than the local utility’s retail rate.
It is not a requirement to own your building to install a microgrid. However, you do need approval from the building owner and should ensure you have a long-term agreement to remain in the building in order to receive the longer-term benefits of the microgrid system and cost savings.