Solar power remains an expensive proposition for commercial building owners, but Jim Henderson says he's confident in the payback.
Henderson, founder and president of upscale mover William C. Huff Cos. in Naples, says the cost of converting his 34,000-square-foot warehouse to solar power in Naples is $350,000. He says there will be enough power generated from the rooftop solar panels to expand his warehouse to 44,000 square feet. “We're only covering one third of my roof space,” Henderson says.
After calculating the federal tax credit of $100,000 and what he would pay the electric utility, the break-even point is about five years, Henderson says.
“Is it expensive? There's no doubt about it, but I'm going to get free electricity after five years,” he says.
What's more, Henderson says the solar power boosts the property's value. “It increased the value by more than what I'm spending,” he says.
But best of all, Henderson says he's making a contribution to environmental stewardship. “Who's doing anything other than talking about it?” he says. “That building is a legacy for future generations. Hopefully we can inspire other businesses to do it.”
Henderson says he contracted with Boca Raton-based Urban Solar to install the system and he financed the deal with Colorado-based Wunder
Capital: Here's how Henderson says the cost breaks down:
Project cost: $349,401
Financing for 100% of the project at 5.5% for 10 years: $3,929 per month
Average monthly electric bill for 44,000-square-foot building: $2,100
Impact of 30% federal tax credit: $1,263 per month
Net monthly cost for project: $466