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Solar panels explained

Responsible sustainability is at the core of SRP’s approach as we begin to realize the benefits of our industry-leading battery investments, new solar additions, and more while ensuring a reliable and affordable power system that is vital to public health and safety.   

To better understand how solar power is advancing in Arizona, it is important to understand how solar panels work.  

How it works

With photovoltaic (PV) solar, there are two main pieces of equipment: the inverter and the panel, and there are often multiple panels per inverter. PV solar systems convert sunlight to electricity. The panels that create electricity produce direct current (DC) which most households and equipment cannot use so it must be changed by an inverter to “usable energy” alternating current or (AC).  

One of the laws of electricity is that it must be used or stored as it’s generated, which is why we’re adding utility-scale storage with many of our new solar PV installations. We’re doing this so we can hold the electricity for release during peak use and high energy cost times late in the afternoon and into the evening. Batteries are also available in residential sizes for solar systems in Arizona allowing our customers to use their solar energy after the sun has set. 

Types of solar panels

The solar panels you see in neighborhoods differ from those in solar fields. Residential solar panels are often installed on rooftops of homes and are stationary. This means that they are most efficient at producing energy when the sun is directly overhead.  

Utility-scale solar panels are different because they are on moving mounts which track with the sun’s movements through the day. Utility-scale solar energy is produced in a large solar field, and it can be shared with customers across the Valley – even those who don’t have solar panels.   

Net metering

When solar panels produce more electricity than is needed for an individual home, this power can either be stored in the homeowner’s battery if they purchased one as part of their system, or SRP can purchase the power to be distributed throughout the grid. This process, known as net metering, credits some residential solar panel owners for any excess energy they produce. The credited rate is determined by the specific price plan. 

SRP will assist with the interconnection of solar, but remember the contract is between you and your installer. SRP is only responsible for the equipment up to the metering. Once your system is installed, any issues that may arise need to be handled by your installer.   

Preferred solar installers

If you’re considering installing solar panels at home, we recommend working with an SRP preferred solar installer to save time and provide a safe and efficient installation process.  

SRP’s preferred installers are licensed, bonded and insured, and are trained to work with SRP’s solar plans. They can design your system, provide financing options, ensure a safe connection to the grid, and train you on how to operate and troubleshoot your new solar panels. 

Contact SRP at (602) 889-2657 today for a list of three verified installers or to learn if the company you’ve chosen to work with is on our preferred list. 

Are you on the best solar price plan? 

Compare the available options to find the plan the works for your lifestyle.

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