When it comes to investment opportunities for manufacturing facilities, there is no shortage of options. There are many potential solutions with attractive ROIs, and your facilities' electricity source could be one of them. Solar is a practical solution for manufacturing facilities that can often be overlooked. In this article we’ll spell out the case for solar powered manufacturing that could be hiding in plain sight.


An aerial view of the rooftop solar array installed at Protolabs, located in Plymouth, MN.

Roof Conditions and Location

Manufacturing facilities often have large, flat roofs that possess ideal conditions for a productive solar array. Ample space is available for the number of panels required to achieve the building’s desired electricity offset, while the panels can be oriented due south to absorb the most sunlight and achieve maximum production.

The typical location and height of manufacturing facility roofs also ensure that shading from nearby buildings or trees won’t interfere with the array’s production, and additional installation costs associated with taller buildings are avoided.

Electricity Use, Peak Shaving, and Reliability

Manufacturing facilities consume a lot of electricity. According to figures from the EIA, they use 95.1 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per square foot each year. In a 10,000 square-foot facility, that would equal the annual electricity use of 80 homes!

Manufacturing facilities consume most of their electricity during the day, making solar ideal for savings through a process called peak shaving. Electricity is more expensive during the day’s peak demand hours, which often make up 30-70% of an electricity bill. Electricity generated by solar panels is used to ‘shave’ off the peak electricity loads, and significantly reduce the cost of demand charges.

Grid-tied systems ensure reliable access to electricity. During the day, grid-tied facilities use electricity generated by solar panels, and at night or in cloudy weather, the facility uses electricity from the grid. With grid-tied systems, there is no risk of there is no risk of interrupting your facility’s operations.

Reducing and Stabilizing Electricity Costs For Your Manufacturing Facilities

Incorporating solar energy isn't just an eco-friendly choice; it's a strategic move to significantly cut electricity costs. Utility bills typically account for 30% of the average organization's operating costs¹, making solar a game-changer in cost reduction.

Since 2016, solar has held its position as the world's most affordable electricity source². The past decade alone witnessed a remarkable 70% drop in solar prices³, emphasizing its economic viability.

Beyond cost savings, solar provides a bastion of stability in the face of rising electricity prices. Over the past 25 years, US electricity prices have steadily increased at a rate of 1.8% per year, as reported by the EIA. By embracing solar, your facility not only enjoys ongoing savings but also secures a consistent, reduced rate for electricity.

Sources: Rocky Mountain Institute¹, International Energy Agency², Solar Energy Industries Association³.

Sustainability Goals

Solar is an effective way to achieve sustainability goals. Solar doesn’t produce air pollution or greenhouse gasses, and a rooftop solar installation can earn more LEED® points than nearly all other green building initiatives.

Considering Solar for Your Manufacturing Facilities? We’re Here To Help.

Our team of solar energy professionals is dedicated to crafting tailored solutions that align with your corporate objectives, whether you're aiming to achieve sustainability goals, or unlock cost savings through renewable energy. We understand that each organization has unique requirements and constraints, and we employ a collaborative approach to design a solar strategy that fits seamlessly into your existing operations. Learn more about our Commercial and Industrial experience, or contact our team below to see how you can get solar on your facility's roof today!




Email: krisy@newenergyequity.com

Phone: 612-716-3988




Email: steveo@newenergyequity.com

Phone: 612-850-8320