Electric bill eating into your overhead?
It’s no secret that electricity prices are rising for homeowners and businesses alike. As a result, the shift to solar energy is becoming a better and better investment thanks to local, state, and federal tax credits and incentives – not to mention the amount of money you’ll save on your energy bills.
How long does commercial solar panel installation take? It’s a common question asked when researching solar panels – but there are two factors to consider: the time it takes for the entire process, and the time it takes for the actual installation. Let us walk you through both.
Timeline for the Actual Solar Panel Installation Process
When it comes to the actual installation, that’s the quickest part! Depending on the size of your solar panel system and the type of solar panels used, the amount of time varies. Usually, solar equipment installation (by a skilled commercial solar installation company) takes about 4-6 hours. Ground-mounted systems, however, can take up to a few days.
But, installing your solar energy system isn’t the first or last part of the process – there’s a bit more to it, so be sure to allot some extra time.
Complete Installation Timeline for Solar Panel Installation
After you’ve finished all the logistics – like figuring out a budget and determining if solar panels are the right fit for your roof – there are six steps to the entire solar panel installation process: site assessment, system design and planning, local permitting, installation, inspection and permission. All together it can take anywhere from one to three months to complete and get your business producing solar power.
Once you sign a contract, the company you’ve hired will come out for a site visit. They’ll measure your roof and take note of the angle needed for the most efficient panels. They’ll also check the integrity of your roof and determine if any repairs or upgrades are needed before work begins.
Total time: 1 day
System Design and Planning
After the assessment, your contractor will design your solar panel system based on the measurements taken in accordance with local government regulations. Once finished, they’ll confirm the plans with you.
Total time: Around 1 week
Before actual installation can happen, the appropriate permits need to be obtained (commercial permits may differ from home solar requirements). When it comes to solar permits, you need a building permit from your city as well as an electrical permit from the utility company. Additional approvals may be required depending on your municipality’s regulations. This initial permitting process and the final approval are the longest parts of the process.
Total time: Up to 4 weeks
Once you have the necessary permits, you can schedule your actual installation. The solar company will come to your building and start work. As we mentioned, the whole electrical system – from the inverter and racking to the electrical panels and battery storage (if desired) – typically takes a day to install depending on its size. If the system is larger or requires more panels, it may end up taking an extra day or two, but once you’ve reached this step, your solar project is almost complete.
Total time: 1 day
Inspection and Interconnection
Renewable energy isn’t far off now – and once the solar panels are installed, you’ll schedule a final inspection with your city. Depending on the volume of work they have, it may be some time between the installation and when they do a site visit.
On the day of your inspection, a solar expert should be on-hand to show the official everything about the installation and make adjustments to get approval. Some cities also require extra approvals from the fire department or official requests to unlock your electrical meter to be filed.
Total time: Up to 1 week without corrections
Permission From the Utility Company
Once you’ve received full approval from the city, then you apply to your local utility company. You’ll send a solar billing application and the approval from the city inspection, and they’ll grant your Permission-to-Operate. You can even begin net metering if you generate extra power. Once your solar panel system is complete, you can reap the rewards for a long time to come.
Total time: 1 to 4 weeks
Solar Panel Installation Takes More Than Time – It Takes Expertise
The installation process and timeline for commercial solar panels depends on the size of your system and how busy your local government is – but having a supportive company installing your system (that knows the in’s and outs of the entire process) helps speed things along.
At TEMA, our experts are ready to work with you when installing your solar panels. If you’re looking for a team that supports you through the design and installation process, look no further. We’re your partners when it comes to the health of not only your commercial roof but also your energy bill! If you’re thinking of making the switch to a solar energy system, reach out to us and we’ll get the process started.