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Solar's Reduces Operating Cost of a Retail Business, Increases Profitability

Solar Design Studio Commercial Solar Case Study - Solar's Reduces Operating Cost of a Retail Business, Increases Profitability

Porter's Building Center of Laurie, MO, decision to invest in a Solar PV enables the business to reduce its annual cost of electric usage by more than 50%. Energy cost typically represent 5.5% of a business operating cost.

Incentives for solar make the Return On Investment (ROI) even more attractive. Incentives utilized for this project included:

  • USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) offset initial capital cost by 25%. REAP provides grants to rural small businesses and farms for renewable energy systems.
  • The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) of 30%. The ITC enables the business to reduces its tax payment liability to recover its capital outlay.
  • An accelerated depreciation schedule such as MACRS (Modified Accelerated Recovery System) allows for the solar asset to be depreciated over 5 years. This means the deductions are weighted toward the front of the recovery period. This depreciation is worth almost as much as the ITC of 30%.

Energy production, KWH (Kilowatt Hours), is key to enjoying the maximum benefits of a system. It is important to consider that energy production is impacted by system design, installation, conversion of sunlight to power, equipment reliability and efficiency. Inverter equipment from SolarEdge was used to ensure the system's uptime is maximized and highest level of conversion efficiency is achieved. Design and installation of the system was over seen by a professional engineer and NABCEP certified solar installer.

An Internal Rate of Return (IRR) for this type of solar project ranges from 10.5 - 15% and a payback period of 4 - 8 years is common.

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What Our Clients Are Saying

I have researched adding PV to my home for several years and have met with several PV providers in the KC area and they tend to fall into two broad categories, the new and low budget operators who got into this to ride the wave and are not that knowledgeable, and the commercial providers who have little interest in working with a homeowner and are geared to providing a much larger system where some economy of scale must come into play. Both my wife and I are architects and we wanted something different and it was challenging to find someone who was interested in doing something out of the ordinary. Neither or those types were interested in working with us as we were trying to create something a bit different. they each wanted to sell us their pre-configured solutions.


Fortunately we found Bob Solger. He has been a delight to work with and is incredibly knowledgeable and responsive. We wanted to create a solar carport that would provide cover and protection for our cars, but would also provide shade over part of our patio. In essence, the big idea was to create an outdoor pavilion, when, if we wanted to entertain we could move the cars out of the way and have a large covered area for an outdoor gathering. We had selected the Lumos brand of solar panels as they have a very clean look and are partially transparent so some light filters through the panels creating a mottled light pattern on the ground, similar to the shading from a tree. In addition, the system is set up to hide the majority of the connecting wires in the support beams so when you look up at the underside of the PV roof you see a very clean look. Bob recognized our goal and worked with us to ensure the project’s success. Bob identified a structural engineer to design an elegant support structure and found a fabricator to build it affordably. Finally he connected us with a contracting team to clear the space, provide the footings, retaining walls, and pad, who were every bit as careful with everything as you would hope. They were amazingly accommodating to every request and understood that there were a lot of competing challenges that needed to be resolved so we could fit this all in to a very tight location and make it look like it belongs.


The bottom line is that it all turned out better than we could have hoped and while it did cost more than the low ball bids received from some of the low budget operators, it was less than the commercially focused suppliers, and more importantly we got the design we wanted and a well-constructed PV carport that will give us great delight for years to come. The best part is of course the savings on our electric bill, which thus far has been averaging around $200/month. So not only do we have a new carport and entertainment patio that our neighbors have been stopping by and admiring (which given that we live in the older Brookside neighborhood and our PV carport is quite modern, we were much relieved) but, our electric bills have been in the under $10/month range.


We owe a great debt of gratitude to Bob and his knowledge and team for helping to create an amazing PV carport for us. I’m sure you would be delighted with whatever you engage him to help you with.

Dev & Sue Malik

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