Commercial FAQ

What size solar electric system do I need?

The recommended size of your system depends on your power consumption. If you want to completely offset your current electrical usage from the utility with a solar electric system, the first step is to review your annual energy consumption, which can be obtained from your utility bill.  Your needs will depend upon the size of your facility and your energy loads.

Will solar increase my property value?

Yes. According to a study published in The Appraisal Journal, every $1 of electricity that you offset through solar will increase the value of your building by $20. This means that your property would increase in value immediately by about the total net cost of the system after rebates.  Most jurisdictions do not allow increases in property taxes with the addition of solar.  

How long will my solar electric system last?

Solar modules have been tested in controlled settings and in the field, with results showing module lifetimes in excess of 25 years. Modules typically have 25-year performance warranties and 5 year workmanship warranties.

Who handles the permits and rebate paperwork?

Kenergy will handle every aspect of the installation including the filing of the rebate paperwork, the permits, the final inspections, and the net metering approval. Kenergy Systems is proud to offer a comprehensive turnkey package to every customer to ensure that installing a solar power system is an easy, pleasant experience for you.

What about back up power?

Kenergy specializes in building solar projects with integrated storage although most of our projects do not typically do not include battery storage due to economic reasons.  If you have an installation area of at least 10,000 square feet, we may be able to provide battery back up at no upfront cost to you, saving time and money for your business.

Does Kenergy work with non-profits?

Yes, Kenergy specializes in serving Faith Based Organizations, Schools, and Non-Profits that have strong balance sheets. 

Power Purchase Agreements (PPA)

How does a Power Purchase Agreement work?

The host site will grant an easement to the owner of the array, typically a separate entity created to own the system, and the user of the site will agree to purchase power from the system at a discounted rate for a set period of time, usually 20 years. This arrangement allows the host site (and purchaser of the electricity) to achieve cost savings while the owners of the array earn a return on their investment.

Am I right for a PPA?

We take the following factors into consideration before giving a business solar. If you have a flat roof or if it slopes south, it will work great for a PPA.

A Kenergy PPA works best on buildings that are no more than four stories high.

Kenergy prefers to work with companies that either own their buildings or have building leases of 15 years or more.

Is there a standard kWh rate in the PPA and what is the escalator rate?

The kWh cost for electricity depends on a great variety of factors, including local sun insolation, panel orientation, size of the system, term of the agreement and other criteria that impact the system installation cost and production of the system over time. Thus, there is no standard rate. The escalator is the rate at which the PPA electricity rate increases year over year. The escalator also varies and can be adjusted to meet specific scenarios with customers.

What are the buyer’s options at the end of the PPA term? If the buyer has the option of buying the system, how will the price be determined?

There are three options at the end of the PPA term: 1) the contract may be renewed and Kenergy will continue managing the system, 2) the host can purchase the system and own it moving forward, or 3) if neither of those options are desirable, then Kenergy is obligated to remove the system.

What are the categories for upfront costs to the host (legal, accounting, etc.)?

Since Kenergy covers all upfront design, permitting, equipment purchases and installation, the costs to the host are foremost related to legal review of contracts, which, generally is relatively insignificant.

How do you verify the energy produced? Is that done with a reliable, 3rd party (neutral) technology?

Energy monitoring and data availability is handled by accredited 3rd parties. Such data acquisition and reporting is very important to Kenergy as well as our customers. Since we are paid only for the renewable energy that is generated, we take great care to ensure the system is performing at optimal levels and that the data is reliably captured and tracked. Additionally, many state incentive programs, like the California Solar Initiative, require energy monitoring and metering systems to be properly certified under strict accuracy, reporting and auditing guidelines.

How can you guarantee the results you are promising – energy generation and system performance?

Once a system is put into service, there is a performance test to determine actual power output. Our installation partners provide a guarantee for specified energy at that point. There are also guarantees from the module manufacturers. Additionally, the PPA electricity rate and escalation rate is contractually obligated and will not change. What we cannot guarantee is if the sun will shine due to weather factors. However, keep in mind that the host customer only pays for the energy produced.

Does the customer pay for energy produced or energy used? What if the panels produce more than the customer can use?

There may be periods where production exceeds demand and energy is delivered back into the utility grid and generating a credit with the utility. We size the system so that it closely matches actual demand. However, if you are a school for instance, you will generate more energy than you need during the summer months at a high rate, but use more from the grid in the winter when you are paying lower rates. This is one of the great advantages of solar PV – sell energy when rates are high; buy it when rates are low.

What happens when the panel/generation technology changes – will Kenergy update with the more efficient tech?

Kenergy will constantly track developments in solar technology. New technologies can be employed when the economics justify replacing older equipment. Our analysis of this investment will be similar to a host’s analysis – when it pays off, we will make the change.

Does the purchased solar power work to offset demand charges (given that the peak production of solar occurs during peak demand periods)?

Yes, that’s one of the great attributes of solar – it is often coincident with peak demand charges, thus potentially reducing total utility charges disproportionately.

Incentives

In a typical PPA, who receives the Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from the project, the host or Kenergy Energy?

Typically, Kenergy manages the RECs and monetizes them. Kenergy is generally in best position to obtain the optimal value for the RECs and manage them year in and year out.

If the customer wants to keep Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), how is the price affected? How is that calculation made?

The RECs can go to the host which will result in increased solar electricity price.

What is the average amount of time from beginning to end of a project, with the beginning being the initial contact?

Anywhere from as little as 4 months to one year, with typical projects lasting 6 months or longer.


 

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