How Solar Power Works

Give your home a superpower with solar electricity.

ResidentialGrid-tied solar electricity (or solar photovoltaic electricity, “PV”) allows you to generate your home’s electricity whenever the sun is out – you can use the solar power as it’s created, export it to the grid and earn credits, or store it in a battery backup system to use in times of need.

Further, as electricity rates go up, your solar array pays you back all the more quickly. Transitioning your home to solar brings you numerous benefits to enjoy for years to come:

  • Solar is an economic opportunity – Lock in a low price of electricity for 30+ years.

  • Solar builds a better world for future generations – Reduce carbon pollution from coal, oil, gas, & nuclear power.

  • Solar grants energy independence – Lower your reliance on the power grid and energy sources “from away.”

How a Grid-Tied Solar Electric System (With No Battery Backup) Works:
1) Sunshine Hits the Panels

Sunlight causes electrons to move through the wiring connecting your home’s solar photovoltaic panels, creating direct current (DC) electricity. Grid-tied solar arrays require no batteries, no complex wiring, and no moving parts. Instead, they inter-tie directly with the grid (hence the name) allowing you to use the grid itself as a big battery.

2) A solar inverter converts DC power into AC power

The DC electricity produced by the solar panels is inverted into alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used in your home. The AC electricity flows into your circuit panel and is available for any active electric loads: lights, television, computers, refrigerator, electric vehicles, etc.

3) Excess power is sent to the grid

If your solar energy production exceeds your demand, then the extra solar electricity is pushed from your home out to the grid. A separate meter tracks this exported electricity. Called net metering, at the end of the month the utility will reconcile the difference between your solar production vs. electrical consumption, and you either earn a credit or are billed accordingly. Earned credits carry forward up to a year. Retail net metering is currently protected and accessible for new customers in all the states where we offer service: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

Residential Solar Photo Gallery:

A few samples of the thousands of solar projects we’ve installed over the years!

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