Solar for Commercial Buildings

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1. Free solar consultation

We will make a site visit to your business or manufacturing facility or hospital and evaluate the space needs for the solar system and give you an analysis of your energy usage. We will also do all the paperwork for obtaining state rebates, grants and solar renewable energy credits for each of our installations. Guidance for federal tax credits, depreciation will be provided to your accountant

2. Proposal

Based on the assessment of the space and energy usage we will design a solar system that’s best for your facility. The proposal will have such details as the cost of the system, how the system will be paid for, and the return on investment.

3. Financing Options

  • SMI Smart Capital program for 100% finance of commercial solar installations:
    SMI can offer you 100% financing; this program is tailored for businesses that are not in need of tax credits, or accelerated depreciation benefits. We partner with investors who need these benefits, and once the period of these benefits ends for the investor (usually 6 or 7 years), you can own the setup by paying on ly 10-15% of original lease amount (even this amount can be financed, in which case you end up fully owning the system either at year 9 or year 10). Depending on the state incentives, this could mean enormous positive cash flow benefits during the initial few years, which you can use for your business. This program is a sure winner!

  • Non-profit solar:
    A number of non-profits such as schools, colleges, hospitals, government buildings, or churches are heavy consumers of electricity, but the conventional financing mechanisms do not work in these cases, since the non-profits cannot use tax credits, and in most cases, cannot use accelerated depreciation benefits. But, we can secure for them a grant up to 60% of the cost; they may still be able to monetize the solar renewable energy credits, and earn an additional income.

4. Ownership Options

  • Full ownership
    In this case, you as the homeowner own the entire solar system. You finance the system one hundred percent, either with your own personal cash, or bank loan. SMI can assist you in securing this loan due to its various contacts in the lending community.

  • Lease to own
    In this case, you simply lease the solar system from us, and you do not own the system until the end of the lese period, when you pay a certain nominal amount and take possession of the system. Your lease payment will be less than our current monthly electric bill.

  • Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
    In this case, you never take title to the system and thus “zero ownership!” You enter into a power purchase agreement with SMI, agreeing to a long-term contract to purchase power from SMI. This rate will be less than your current electric monthly bill rate.

Each of these choices have their own advantages, and disadvantages. For instance, maximum economic benefits are derived from full ownership, but this choice also requires you to come up with all the cash needed. The lease-purchase option requires a far less cash outlay from your end, but the benefits are also a bit less, since you do not get the benefits of tax credit etc. The PPA option requires the least amount of cash from your side, but you also forego benefits such as tax credit, SRECs’ cash benefits etc.

  • 1. System Design
    Solar Micronics will take care of everything for you. The designed system will comply with the National Electric Code and conform to local rules and regulations.

  • 2. Permits
    Solar Micronics will obtain the permits required for completion of the job. Upon obtaining the permits, we will order the materials for the job.

  • 3. System installation
    Once the solar panels and parts arrive at the site, our professional crew will commence installing your photovoltaic solar system. Our crew will arrive each day and work in a professional manner. The installation will take 3-5 days depending on size and complexity. The system is typically roof mounted. The racking system will be attached to the roof and the solar power panels are mounted on the racking system.

  • 4. System warranty and maintenance
    Upon completion of your solar system, you will receive a “Warranty Manual” this includes system drawings, warranty information, self-maintenance instructions, product specifications, and instructions on how to inspect your solar system for the best energy generation. Solar Micronics will assist with support of your system’s ongoing operation, address concerns throughout the warranty period.

ROI, Cost/Rebates

Return on Investment (ROI)

Remember Solar System is not like a consumable asset such as a refrigerator, or range; it is an asset that produces a consumable item such as electric power.

It is the ultimate in self-reliance, and enables you to free yourself from the clutches of the utility company, and protects you against the vagaries of varying fuel costs. Remember, your fuel is free, forever!

Any ROI calculation has to take into account the fact that unlike most investments where the ROI is calculated on a pre-tax basis, in the case of the solar installation, all your benefits are tax-free. Hence, an upward adjustment has to be made in the calculation of the ROI to bring it to pre-tax basis.

Since one of the significant benefits of a solar installation is an immediate increase in appraised value, this value increase has to be taken into account in any ROI calculations. Since this value increase is based on real quantifiable benefits (vs. perceived benefit such as the pride or the pleasure of having a swimming pool in the backyard), it is unlikely to be subject to any appraisal challenges.

When the annual cost savings, plus appraised value increase are taken into consideration, along with federal, and state incentives, the ROI can be as high as 25%. All of this without computing a value for carbon emission reduction due to use of clean power! If a value for carbon emission reduction were to be imputed, the ROI can increase by as much as another 10%. Compare this with bank interest rates of less than 1% these days!


The cost of a solar system depends on a variety of factors including:

  • Shading

  • Azimuth

  • Rebates

  • Financing


Solar installations qualify for various rebates and incentives depending on where the installation occurs

  • US Federal Tax Credit: 30%

  • State of Illinois Rebate: Up to 30%*

  • SRECS: Subject to availability (call for details)
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