What Is Solar Power?

The sun is a tremendous source of energy. If we could capture all of the solar energy that the Earth’s atmosphere receives in one hour, it could power the electricity needs of every living human being for a year! Since this energy is clean, renewable and extremely abundant, it’s no surprise that solar power is growing in popularity.

When you think of solar power, you probably picture a solar panel. A solar panel is one component of a PV system, which is the most common method of harnessing solar power. PV systems can be configured for a variety of uses:

  • PV systems can be connected to dedicated storage batteries and/or to the power grid. The majority of systems nowadays are connected to the grid, enabling excess power to be shared with others.
  • PV systems range in scale from a single solar panel on the roof of a house to a commercial array spanning multiple acres. Some are easy to spot, but others may not be as obvious.

It’s likely that PV systems exist in your response area or in neighboring jurisdictions, so it is important to learn how to recognize them.