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How Solar Power Works
There are four basic components in your solar energy system:
- Photovoltaic (PV) cells convert sunlight to direct current (DC) electricity.
- The inverter converts DC into alternating current (AC) electricity, compatible with the electric grid.
- The electrical panel distributes power from your solar system and from your utility as needed.
- The utility meter measures the energy you draw and feed back to the grid.
The sun produces enough energy in 15 minutes to supply the world with electricity for a year using today’s solar panel technology. Solar panels produce energy by using silicon to convert UV rays into electricity. SunRa Solar designs with a range of high-efficiency solar panels to meet each customer’s unique needs. All our panels are backed by a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty.
We use the latest in inverter technology in our solar power systems. Designing with the option to use single inverters, optimizers, and microinveters allows us provide you with the most efficient and most informative solar energy systems. No matter the style, the inverter is essentially the brains of your solar system. It converts energy from the sun into energy for you use every day.
A Quick Note About Net Metering
Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they generate but do not use, or that they add to the grid. The term “net” refers to the addition and subtraction of electricity taking place at the special meter required for a solar installation.
The homeowner will only be billed for the net amount they draw from the utility grid each month. Everything is measured in kWh, the same units that are used currently on your power bill. Sometimes in the summer, a solar energy system might produce more in a month than a family uses.
The excess power (kWh) can be carried over to the next month. Massachusetts allows the homeowner to use these “net” credits month after month until the credits are used up. Currently, they do not expire. The monetary value of each kWh credit is slightly less than full retail for each utility, according to a tariff, or schedule of rates.
To get more details about net metering for your specific location, click on the EXPLORE tab to the right or Contact Us here.
About Massachusetts Solar Energy Programs
The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program was created by the state Department of Energy Resources (DOER) as a next generation replacement of the successful SREC (Solar Renewable Energy Credit) program. It was designed to provide more long-term revenue certainty and remove value fluctuation for solar system owners.
To do this, the program provides a single compensation rate. Total benefits each year of the SMART Program can be predicted and tracked more accurately than in the past.
- There are 8 blocks of incentives, each limited to 200 MW and the program overall is currently limited to 1,600 MW total.
- Three major utilities are mandated to participate. Each has their own allotment within the 200 MW block. Municipal utilities may participate at will.
- Within each block there is a predetermined rate or level of reimbursement for each kWh of solar energy.
- By design, this solar value decreases on transition to each new block.