How to Fund a Commercial Solar Project in Ireland?

Raj Singh
February 12, 2024

Are you looking for a way to reduce your energy costs, lower your carbon footprint, and increase your business value? If so, you might be interested in installing solar panels on your commercial property. Solar energy is a clean, renewable, and affordable source of power that can help you achieve your sustainability goals and save money in the long run.

But how do you fund a commercial solar project in Ireland? What are the options and benefits available for businesses that want to go solar? This blog post will explain the different ways you can finance your solar project, the grants and incentives that you can avail of, and how to fund a commercial solar project in Ireland.

Why Invest in Commercial Solar Energy?

Before diving into the funding options, let us first look at some of the reasons why you should consider investing in commercial solar energy. Here are some of the benefits for your business:

Reduce your energy bills

Solar panels can generate electricity from the sun, which means you can reduce your reliance on the grid and lower your energy bills. Depending on the size and location of your system, you can save up to 75% on your electricity costs.

Increase your property value

Solar panels can also increase the value of your property, as they are seen as an attractive feature by potential buyers or tenants. Studies have shown that properties with solar panels can sell for up to 17% more than similar properties without solar panels.

Enhance your reputation

Solar panels can also boost your reputation and brand image, as they demonstrate your commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. Customers, employees, and stakeholders are more likely to trust and support businesses that are green and socially conscious.

Secure your energy supply

Solar panels can also provide you with energy security and independence, as they can protect you from power outagesgrid failures, and rising energy prices. You can also store excess solar energy in batteries or sell it back to the grid, depending on your needs and preferences.

Receive government grants and incentives

Solar panels can also help you access various grants and incentives from the government and other organisations, which can reduce the upfront cost and increase the return on investment of your solar project.

How to Fund a Commercial Solar Project in Ireland?

There are different ways you can fund a commercial solar project in Ireland, depending on your budget, cash flow, and goals. Here are some of the most common options:

Self-funding

This is the simplest and most straightforward option, where you pay for the entire cost of your solar project upfront, using your own funds or a bank loan. This way, you can own the system outright and enjoy the full benefits of solar energy without any third-party involvement or obligations.

However, this option also requires a large initial investment, which may not be feasible or desirable for some businesses.

Solar leasing

This is another option, where you lease the solar system from a solar provider for a fixed period of timeusually 10 to 20 years. You pay a monthly fee to the provider, who owns and maintains the system, and you use the electricity generated by the system. This way, you can avoid the upfront cost and hassle of owning the system and still save money on your energy bills.

However, this option also means that you do not own the system or the benefits, and you may have to pay a termination fee if you want to end the lease early.

Power purchase agreement (PPA)

This is a similar option to solar leasing, where you sign a contract with a solar provider who installs, owns, and operates the solar system on your property. You agree to buy the electricity generated by the system at a fixed rate, usually lower than the grid rate, for a fixed period of time, usually 10 to 20 years. This way, you can also avoid the upfront cost and hassle of owning the system and still save money on your energy bills.

However, this option also means that you do not own the system or the benefits, and you may have to pay a penalty if you want to end the contract early or if you do not use the agreed amount of electricity.

What Grants and Incentives Are Available for Commercial Solar Projects in Ireland?

In addition to the funding options, you can also benefit from various grants and incentives that are available for commercial solar projects in Ireland. These can help you reduce the cost and increase the return on investment of your solar project.

Here are some of the grants and incentives that you can avail of:

Non-Domestic Microgen Grant

This is a grant offered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), which provides financial assistance to businesses and other sectors to install solar PV panels to generate electricity on site.

The grant amount is based on the standard output of your solar PV system, up to a maximum of 1000 kWp. You can receive up to €162,600 in grant funding through this scheme.

Accelerated Capital Allowance (ACA)

This is a tax incentive that allows businesses to deduct the full cost of their solar PV system from their taxable income in the year of purchase. This can reduce your tax liability and increase your cash flow.

The ACA is available for solar PV systems that are on the Triple E Product Register, which lists the products that meet the energy efficiency criteria set by the SEAI.

Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH)

This is a scheme that provides financial support to businesses that use renewable heating systems, such as solar thermal panels, to meet their heating needs.

The scheme pays a tariff based on the amount of heat generated by the system for up to 15 years. The tariff rate depends on the size and type of the system.

Conclusion

To sum up, commercial solar projects in Ireland are a win-win for businesses. They significantly reduce energy bills, boost property values, and promote environmental stewardship. Government incentives like the Non-Domestic Microgen Grant make them more cost-effective.

Whether you opt for self-funding, leasing, or a power purchase agreement, there's a flexible solution for every business. Embrace a sustainable and profitable future with solar energy.

Contact Nusolas Energy for expert advice and support in your solar energy venture. Let Nusolas Energy be your partner in transitioning to a greener, more sustainable business model. Start your solar project journey with us today!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the grant options for commercial solar financing in Ireland?

In Ireland, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) offers grants of up to €160,000 for businesses. Additionally, the Non-Domestic Microgeneration Grant scheme provides up to €2,100 specifically for solar PV panels. These grants support businesses in reducing their carbon footprint and energy costs.

Who is eligible for the Commercial Solar PV Grants?

The Commercial Solar PV Grants are available to a variety of sectors, including businesses, the agricultural sector, schools, community centres, and non-profit societies. Eligibility depends on meeting the SEAI’s criteria.

What are the long-term benefits of solar energy for businesses?

Solar energy offers cost savings, environmental benefits, and enhances a business’s brand image. It also provides energy independence and contributes to long-term cost savings.

How can businesses apply for the Commercial Solar PV Grants?

Businesses can apply for these grants through the SEAI's official application process.

What is the new solar grant for businesses in Ireland?

The new solar grant is a government-funded initiative designed to encourage businesses to adopt renewable energy sources, offering financial support for installing solar panels.

Are there specific solar panel grants for farmers?

Yes, farmers can apply for grants under initiatives like the Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Schemes (TAMS 3) Solar Capital Investment Scheme. This offers grants with a €90,000 investment ceiling and an enhanced grant aid rate of 60%.

What are the grant options for commercial solar financing in Ireland?

In Ireland, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) offers grants of up to €160,000 for businesses. Additionally, the Non-Domestic Microgeneration Grant scheme provides up to €2,100 specifically for solar PV panels. These grants support businesses in reducing their carbon footprint and energy costs.

Who is eligible for the Commercial Solar PV Grants?

The Commercial Solar PV Grants are available to a variety of sectors, including businesses, the agricultural sector, schools, community centres, and non-profit societies. Eligibility depends on meeting the SEAI’s criteria.

What are the long-term benefits of solar energy for businesses?

Solar energy offers cost savings, environmental benefits, and enhances a business’s brand image. It also provides energy independence and contributes to long-term cost savings.

How can businesses apply for the Commercial Solar PV Grants?

Businesses can apply for these grants through the SEAI's official application process.

What are the long-term benefits of solar energy for businesses?

Solar energy offers cost savings, environmental benefits, and enhances a business’s brand image. It also provides energy independence and contributes to long-term cost savings.

What is the new solar grant for businesses in Ireland?

The new solar grant is a government-funded initiative designed to encourage businesses to adopt renewable energy sources, offering financial support for installing solar panels.

Are there specific solar panel grants for farmers?

Yes, farmers can apply for grants under initiatives like the Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Schemes (TAMS 3) Solar Capital Investment Scheme. This offers grants with a €90,000 investment ceiling and an enhanced grant aid rate of 60%.

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*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.
About Author
Raj Singh
Founder @ NuSolas

A seasoned professional in the solar industry, Raj Singh is dedicated to illuminating Ireland with the power of the sun. His passion for renewable energy and commitment to sustainability shine through his work in the solar industry.