How does a solar system work?

How does a solar system work?

The vast majority of school solar systems are grid-connected: the solar panels are connected to the local utility electricity grid and supplement your school’s normal power. Grid-connected systems operate via a process called net metering.

Net Metering

When the sun is shining, the system produces electricity that runs through the inverter and then powers the building. If the solar panels produce more electricity than is needed, the excess power is sent out onto the electricty grid and your school receives a credit for that power (as if your electric meter were running backwards). At night and when the school’s power demands exceed the solar system’s production, your building continues to use electricity from the grid. At the end of the month the school’s electric bill reflects the total energy your building used minus the electricity that was produced by the solar system. This process of calculating the total power used is called net metering. Specific rules governing the details of how net metering is calculated vary state by state. For more information, check DSIRE, a database of state renewable energy laws and incentives.