Most commercial and industrial solar installations are substantially larger than a typical residential solar panel system. For perspective, the average size of a residential solar panel system is around 8 kilowatts (kW), while a commercial solar energy system can be up to several megawatts (MW) in size, depending on the electricity needs of the facility.

Commercial solar is considered “distributed generation,” meaning that the energy produced by the system is used at or near the point of generation. Distributed generation projects, such as rooftop or ground-mounted residential solar, are usually connected to the local electric grid. This allows for commercial property owners to take advantage of net metering, a policy enabling distributed generation customers to send unused electricity back to the grid in exchange for electricity bill credits.