Solar Electric

Renewable Energy: Solar Electric

Solar Electric

To get more information about how a solar electric system might work for your business, university, non-profit, or municipality, please refer below or contact us for a Free Estimate.

Solar electric systems are clean, reliable systems that produce electricity from the sun. NY state has an excellent solar resource, and deployment of these systems is becoming more and more common in the business sector.

Commercial solar electric systems are comprised of solar electric modules, racking for roof or ground mounting, and an electrical balance of system (BOS) including safety disconnect switches, DC-AC inverter, interconnection equipment, and monitoring system. At Halco, every solar electric system we do is monitored and production is guaranteed.

Usage and System Sizing

Businesses in NY vary significantly in their electricity use, depending on their type, size, and scope of activity. Usage can range from 30 kWh/day for a small office to thousands of kWh/day for a large manufacturing facility. If you can provide our staff with the last month to year of your utility bills (depending on your situation), we can assist you in determining your average current electrical usage.

Once electrical usage is known, possible system sizes can be determined that would meet 30%-110% of your needs, depending on available space, budget, and preference. If your business's usage is in the upper end of the NY range for its type, we always recommend efficiency measures simultaneous to system design and installation.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists to plan for the perfect solar electric system. We offer Free Estimates in Syracuse, Ithaca, Rochester, Auburn, Webster, Lansing, Pittsford, Cortland, Canandaigua, Fairport, and surrounding areas.

System Types

The two most common types of solar electric systems are grid-connected only systems, and grid-connected critical load battery backup systems. Both systems interconnect into your business's electrical system through a subpanel or main service panel, and are grid-connected. The primary difference between these two types of systems is that the grid-connected-only systems do not operate in the event of a utility power outage. This is because these systems do not have any energy storage capacity, and thus can not provide a buffer between fluctuating electricity production and operating loads.

Grid-connected critical load battery back-up systems, on the other hand, allow the solar electric system to continue to work during utility outages and to power key critical loads that are chosen by the business. These loads typically include start and electronics for your furnace or boiler, communications equipment, a couple lights, etc. The purpose of these systems is to allow the solar electric system to act like a generator during grid-failure, but without incurring the costs of full whole-building battery storage.

System Location

Solar electric systems are best located on a relatively unshaded south-facing pitched or flat roof surface, ground location, or as a parking lot cover. A system orientation of around 35° or 8/12 is optimal for highest annual system production, but any roof pitch between 10° and 50° works well and will have minimal system output losses.

As a result and in order to have lower wind loads, better integration with the structure, and to be more aesthetically pleasing, roof-mounted solar electric systems are typically built flush to pitched roof surfaces, and between 10° and 35° off the roof for flat roof surfaces. Ground-mounted system are either adjustable with the seasons, or fixed at 35°. These systems can easily be sited as much as 1,000 ft from a building.

Costs, Incentives, & Financing

For details on systems costs, the available incentives and financing, and details on system return on investment, payback, cost per kWh, and protection against future energy costs, please see the Commercial Solar Electric Economics Section.


Electricity generated by solar electric systems is used to meet your own building's needs first, and then any extra is fed back to the utility for full retail credit under New York's net-metering laws. Presently, commercial customers are allowed to full net-metering up to the equivalent of their peak demand. Other arrangements are possible at avoided cost rates.

We offer estimates for all of our work! Contact us today and we'll setup an appointment to meet with you and evaluate the space. We proudly service Rochester, Ithaca, Syracuse, Lansing, Webster, Auburn, Fairport, Pittsford, Cortland, Canandaigua, , and nearby areas.

our service area

We serve the following areas

Our Locations:

865 County Road 6
Phelps, NY 14532

1730 Mecklenburg Rd Suite B
Ithaca, NY 14850

204 Bass St
Liverpool, NY 13088

365 N. Washington St
Rochester, NY 14625
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