Solar power is booming across the U.S.—solar installations accounted for 48% of all the new energy production capacity installed during the first quarter of 2013—but for many people it remains a mysterious and even daunting subject. Sadly, this is especially true for those who could benefit the most from installing solar: the owners and operators of commercial buildings.
Faced with ever higher costs from electric rates that are constantly increasing, producing your own energy to save money certainly seems attractive. But how can a harried facilities manager find reliable answers to the myriad questions that present themselves: How can you identify qualified contractors? How do you go about assessing their competing bids? How should your company pay for it? And how can you even get started when you don’t know what questions to ask in the first place?
If these questions sound familiar, this book is for you.
In this book you will meet Jack Prince, facilities manager for expanding bio-tech company EnGex, who suddenly finds himself tasked with determining whether his company should “go solar.” Through a series of dialogues between Jack and his colleagues that frame the issues, followed by subsequent discussions that provide greater detail, you will follow Jack as he learns all that he needs to know about commercial solar power systems: from mastering the basics to commissioning the installed system. And, because in the real world the story doesn’t end there, we also present two case studies about actual commercial solar installations a year after the fact, but with very different endings.
My hope is that this book will help demystify the process and clarify the benefits of going solar, step-by-step.