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How Solar PV Works

Solar is a low-maintenance and relatively simple technology that can help power your home with an abundant, clean, renewable, price-stable, fuel-free, and carbon-free energy resource! 

Solar photovoltaic (PV) cells work by converting sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity. The DC electrical charge is then converted into alternating current (AC) electricity by a power inverter to be used for your household electricity needs. The power inverter sends the electricity to the electrical outlets and lights all around your home, allowing you to use less electricity from your local utility. 

Installing solar requires contracting with the utility through a ‘net metering’ agreement, which allows you to get credit for any kilowatt hours you provide to the grid. 

Learn more about how solar PV works in the Solar PV FAQs or learn how your solar system will interconnect with the electrical grid in Connecting to the Grid.

A U.S. Department of Energy video explains how solar panels convert the energy of the sun into renewable electricity: