Commercial real estate (CRE) company, H&S Properties, has commissioned a 623kWp rooftop and carport solar installation on a research and development (R&D) facility in Redwood City, California. SolarEdge’s DC-optimized technology was chosen for the project to maximize energy production and profitability for H&S which will store the energy for its tenants to use. Now operational, the installation is forecast to produce 950,000 kWh of electricity each year, equivalent to 78% of the building’s total energy use.
The building’s tenants are comprised of four research and development (R&D) companies working on a variety of projects, ranging from DNA research to the development of solar windows. H&S Properties will sell the energy produced onsite to its tenants at around 10% less than the price of grid provided electricity, providing an opportunity for significant savings that are expected to grow as energy prices increase.
“Solar represents a major opportunity for CRE owners to significantly increase the value of their properties and make them much more attractive to potential tenants,” says Robert Hymes, Chief Development Officer at installer MYNT Systems. “For building owners, the biggest issue keeping them up at night is the thought of properties lying vacant. Providing access to sustainable, lower-cost energy is incredibly appealing to prospective tenants, and, in fact, we are finding that some companies now have a mandate that any building they occupy must have solar. The good news is that these buildings typically have large, empty roofs. Leveraging SolarEdge technology, we turn that empty space into what is effectively a passive, high-value tenant for the building owner.”
The solar installation includes 1,299 bifacial solar modules, upgraded to smart modules with SolarEdge Power Optimizers, two SolarEdge DC-optimized inverters, and a battery. The SolarEdge solution maximizes solar energy production by overcoming issues such as shading, module degradation and soiling, which can limit production in traditional string-inverter systems. In addition, it provides design flexibility around module layout and placement, allowing system owners to make the most of all available space.
Another advantage of the SolarEdge solution is the ability to monitor each pair of modules independently and in real time. This was an important consideration for MYNT Systems which will maintain the system. With module-level monitoring, it is able to accurately pin-point potential issues to minimize time on site and maximize system uptime. In addition, it will use the granular data to provide highly accurate production information to H&S Properties which it will use to bill its tenants.
Hymes concludes: “Solar is much more than a technology that reduces energy bills – for CREs it actually provides an opportunity to increase the value of their buildings. When speaking with clients, we tend to talk less about kW/h production and more about the impact solar has on rental prices and tenant retention. Our clients are not solar experts, but they understand those metrics very well. By speaking the industry’s language, we are able to convey the advantages of solar power to a much wider audience.”