A solar system generates electricity by converting sunlight into clean, renewable energy. Individual solar cells are combined into modules and arrays, which generate varying amounts of power depending on your site and energy consumption. Solar systems can be used to power everything from calculators to buildings and light poles. Larger installations, such as central power stations, can generate hundreds of megawatts of electricity and reduce carbon emissions.
The most well-known type of Star Plus Energy is photovoltaics (PV). PV cells convert direct sunlight into electricity through an electric process. These cells can be arranged into panels, which are then connected to an inverter, which transforms the direct current into alternating current. This energy can then be used to run electrical appliances or connected to the grid to power homes and businesses.
Many states have policies to encourage the use of solar energy. For example, some allow you to receive credits on your utility bill for the electricity your solar system produces. Other states have excellent net metering programs, which allow you to earn money back for the excess energy your system produces. Check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency to learn more about local incentives and rebates.
Solar panel prices vary widely depending on your location, installation type and the size of your system. Customers may choose to buy their systems in one lump sum, take out a loan or enter into a Power Purchase Agreement. Customers who enter into a PPA lose the ability to claim federal tax benefits and may have an escalator clause, which increases payments 3 percent per year.