How We Generate Electricity from Sunlight
It may seem like science fiction but it’s true that the solar industry has succeeded in bringing this previously cost-prohibitive technology to market. Some people may remember when solar electric was only used by NASA for spacecraft – and now it’s on your neighbor’s house! We’re now able to deliver solar energy systems for a fraction of what they cost only 10 years ago. Solar Electric is now priced such that small business owners and home owners can afford to make an investment that quickly pays for itself many times over.
Today’s solar electric (or “photovoltaic”) systems are mostly “grid-tied,” meaning they are built at locations that have access to electric utility power. The grid-tied systems do not require batteries or other energy storage technology. Grid-tied systems utilize a method of virtual storage called “net metering” to ensure that if they produce more electricity than the site needs on a given day, the energy is fed back to the utility to be used elsewhere and credited to the solar system owner at a retail rate. Net metering allows solar systems to over-produce in the summer and bank excess credit for the winter when solar production is minimal. Oregon businesses and residents are lucky to have favorable net metering arrangements offered by utilities.