- Do I need to invest money upfront?
No, you don’t. Total invests all the capital required for the project.
- With no money upfront and reduced electricity bill, it sounds too good to be true, what’s the catch?
There is no “catch”. The whole concept is based on bringing together capital that is looking for long-term, steady and predictable returns, and companies like yours that want to reduce their OpEx but prefer to invest their own cash in faster-return, core business processes.
- What will happen to my roof?
In effect, all that will happen is that your roof will get an additional “skin” of solar panels and will be more protected from the elements.
- How do I know whether my roof can take the weight of the photovoltaic system?
Solar systems do not weigh much and usually this is not an issue. In all cases, the Total team will get the appropriate technical information from you about your roof structure to make an assessment.
- Do I need to make modifications to my roof?
In most cases, roof modifications are not required. Total Solar DG will assess your roof and, when confirmed appropriate, will make all the arrangements.
- What happens if my roof gets damaged during installation?
It is highly unlikely that the roof will be damaged, as Total Solar DG only works with accredited installers to prevent that happening. On top of that, Total has insurance in place so that any unlikely damage to the roof during installation will be repaired at no cost to you.
- Do I need to clean the modules?
No, you don’t. As required, Total arranges for operation and maintenance (O&M), as well as cleaning at no additional cost.
- Is there an (internet-based) app that will allow me to monitor the performance of the panels, even if I am away from the site?
Yes, an app is available.
- What happens if I need to carry out works on my roof?
Solar panels can be removed if some roof inspection/maintenance is required at various areas of the roof.
- Does my team need to be trained to maintain or operate the system?
Absolutely not. Total is responsible for ensuring the system performance.
- Does Total manufacture photovoltaic panels?
Yes, Total manufactures modules through its affiliate company – SunPower. These are some of the most powerful panels in the world. However, they are a little more expensive in some situations so they’re not always recommended as part of tailored solutions. Panels are also sourced from first-class manufacturers that are not part of the Total Group.
- What happens if the system does not generate as many kWh as planned?
The power contract is based on the customer paying for the kWh that the system generates. If the systems generates less kWh or none at all, you will pay less or nothing at all.
- How do we know how much power the system has generated?
Total will install a meter at the “injection point” where the power generated from the system will be injected into your electrical system. The data from that meter will be accessible and shared with you and will form the basis of the monthly invoice.
- If the grid price fluctuates, what happens to the rates under the PPA?
Typically, customers prefer to have a fixed rate with mutually agreeable escalation factor. This acts as a hedge to grid price fluctuation. Different pricing structures exist and are also available if required.
- What happens to my solar power during a power interruption (blackout)?
In countries where blackouts are frequent, most customers have sizeable backup power options typically in the form of Diesel gensets. In those cases, Total Solar DG will design the system such that as soon as the backup power is turned on, the solar plant will resume generating power. The Total team will walk through the technical aspects with your team(s) during the system development stage.
- Who covers for damages caused by typhoons and other “acts of God”?
Total will insure the rooftop system against these type of risks by means of insurance. However, Total cannot insure the building as that is your asset.
- Will I own the system at the end of the PPA term?
In most cases, Total will own the system at the term of the contract and a purchase can then be agreed at the fair market value but alternative arrangements can be agreed on.
- How long do I have to sign the contract for?
Contracts typically range from 15 to 25 years. A longer contract offers lower tariffs but some customers prefer a shorter contract with a transfer of the system earlier. After the transfer, the customer has almost free power, and need only pay for the O&M.
- How long if the life of the system?
Usually systems will last beyond 30 years though some elements need replacing more often e.g. the inverter. If the contract is still ongoing, Total will cover that cost.
- What happens if I sell my building and move on?
If you sell your building and move on, there are a few different options:
– The preferred option is for the contract to be transferred to the new tenant. Just let the Total team know who you are talking to and we can help with that.
– The next option is for you to buy the system and sell it as part of the building. The system is usually a small fraction of the building cost.
– In some options, the solar system can move with you to the new location.
– There are a few countries where we can “step-in” and sell the power to the grid.
– Finally, if the above don’t work, you can terminate the contract and pay the termination fee.
- What if I would like to purchase the system before the term gets over?
Total offers a structure where the customer can buy over the system at different stages in the contract lifetime. However, most customers prefer to have the solar system managed and maintained by a solar expert.
- Is there a possibility of me getting depreciation benefits on this asset?
The asset is owned by Total and contracts are structured to get the best depreciation impact possible and then pass that back to you in terms of lower power costs.
- Will the solar system consolidate onto my books?
In most markets, Total Solar DG’s contracts are structured to make sure that this does not happen – even with the new IFRS 16 rules. This is definitely true for Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia. Having said that, Total cannot give you tax advice. Let the team know if you hear something different and the team can work with your tax advisors.
- What happens if Total goes bust?
If Total goes bust, either the contract will be transferred to a new company or you will inherit a nice rooftop PV installation at a discount.