Yeah, it’s gloomy here. Most days, actually. Which makes one think that solar might not work so well around here. In fact, solar works in Washington. It really works. Washington State has long cool summer days – perfect for efficient solar production. The cooler temperatures we experience allow solar panels to perform at higher efficiencies than they might under hot desert sun. With Washington State’s adoption of a net metering program in 1998, solar system owners are able to bank their summer production and pull upon the credits during the winter months. And when it rains? Well, that’s just a free wash for those panels!
Solar in Washington?
How it Works
Every day (even the cloudy days), light hits your solar panels with photons. The solar panels convert those photons into electrons of direct current electricity. The electrons flow out of the solar panel and into an inverter and other electrical safety devices. The inverter converts that DC power into alternating current or AC power, the kind of power used in your house.
A meter measures the energy produced by your solar panels and also tracks the energy used in your house. Any solar energy that you do not use will go back into your utility’s electrical grid. At night or on cloudy days, when your solar panels are not producing as much energy as you are using, your home will draw electricity from the grid. Your utility company will bill you for the net energy consumption for each billing period. Your production incentive will be based on the energy your system produces, regardless of how much of that energy you use each year.