Commercial Solar

Solar Savings

Catch the Solar Wave today and watch your business’ energy costs drop. PV is a solution to creating a more sustainable business model.

By using tax incentives the payback is less than three years on Oahu and on the neighbor islands, less than two years. Cash flow payback ranges in the five plus year range depending on the escalation rate of electricity.

If you are asking yourself whether making a commitment to PV is right for your business, the simple answer is “JUST DO IT”. After analyzing the numbers, most clients conclude this is a “no brainer.”

The federal tax credit is unrestricted at 30% of the cost of system. The Hawaii tax credit is 35% for all practical purposes and also unrestricted. This is different than the restricted residential or multi-family credit.

The federal depreciable basis is 85% of the system cost. The Hawaii basis is 100%. For example, if your Federal tax bracket was 30%, the value would be:

30% x 85% = 25.5%

The Hawaii tax credit would be:

10% x 100% = 10%

When you add up the value of the tax incentives, the decision to buy is simple. Again on a cash flow analysis, payback is in about five years depending on the inflation rate of electricity.

We recommend customers consult with their tax professional to analyze the proposal for financial feasibility and tax election issues. If a customer can afford to buy the system, the advice has often been to move forward with it.

Important Note: Solar Wave is not qualified to give tax advice you can rely upon therefore, you are advised to consult your tax professional.


  • Stable electricity cost and once the system is paid for electricity is FREE!
  • Enjoy up to a 30-year warranty on our panels and a 25-year warranty on commercial inverters
  • Have additional cash to put toward other expenses
  • Increased net operating income

And you can feel good about catching the solar wave and contributing to Hawaii's sustainable future!

Design Factors

  1. Limitations: 100kw per meter under the Net Energy Metering agreement. This roughly equates to $5-6,000 of your bill. We can use a 100kw inverter and install 120-130kw of panels.
  2. Beyond 100kw: Going over the 100kw takes you into a different discussion about using other meters, Standard Interconnection Agreement, and bringing in a different service such as 480v.
  3. Demand: A metering device will assess what your usage patterns are over a few weeks. The results will allow us to pinpoint various options. These options include battery systems or meter generators.
  4. Roof Size: Roof size plays a factor. Each panel is about 18 square feet. The wattage ranges from 240-260 for standard efficiency panels to 327 for high efficiency panels. 120,000 watts on a 100kw inverter requires about 10,000 sf of usable roof space using 250w panels. We can help assess your capacity.
  5. Roof Quality: Your roof may need repairs or additional support. While the PV contractor must flash all penetrations it is wise to apply a liquid applied coating under the panels, the PV contractor is not responsible for the whole roof.
  6. Impact on Tax Credits: The “solar” tax credits may not be applicable to the extra roof work.
  7. Existing Electrical Equipment: Your main incoming electric equipment may be in poor condition or with the design, may need to be replaced.
  8. Roof Attachment Options: The roof type calls for the roof attachment method and the matching waterproofing or flashing.
  9. Energy Impact: A reduction in energy is planned but the PV system will need to be installed first. Here we ask the energy reduction contractor to give an estimate of the savings. Then the PV system can be undersized to ensure it will not overproduce once the lighting change is completed, for example. Once completed, the new stabilized demand is known and a phase II PV install can happen.
  10. Permitting: Permitting takes longer with commercial systems. Formal electrical and structural engineering plans must be prepared and submitted. There is also a building permit fee.
  11. Utility Approvals: Utility approvals can take time and delays may occur. If a line circuit is “full,” a grounding transformer or some form of utility study may be triggered. This can be costly and delay the project for 4-6 months.
  12. Permitting: Closing the permit(s) and obtaining utility company approval. This is also time consuming and may take as long as 2 months.