How do solar photovoltaic panels work?
Solar PV panels are primarily made of silicon, so there is no danger of leaking toxins or fumes. As sun shines on the panels, they convert the light into Direct Current (DC) electricity. The electricity then flows to an inverter, where it is changed to Alternating Current (AC) electricity. This AC power is used by the home’s regular electrical systems.
What happens to my solar array if I sell my house?
Just like the other utilities, the solar pv system is considered part of the home. All power agreements will be transferred to the new homeowners. We can provide you with the proper paperwork and documentation to help the process go smoothly.
Are there financial incentives to go solar?
Yes! For now, you can get money back from solar rebates. For existing homes and new construction (no rentals), there is currently a 30% federal tax credit, with no upper limit. This is supposed to sunset after the next three years. Other credits and rebates may be available if you have your system installed by a certified installer. In central Illinois the most common incentives are Net Metering, Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, Special Assessment for Solar Energy Systems, USDA Rural Energy for America (REAP),Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS), andGreen Energy Loans.
It's important to take advantage of these incentives now before they disappear!
Will snow reduce solar energy intake? Should I remove excess snow?
Because of safety concerns, we do not recommend sweeping snow off your solar array, especially if they are on the roof. Solar panels attract sunlight and are more slippery than roof shingles, so any snow that accumulates should melt off fairly quickly.
Sometimes there can be situations where enough snow will fall and the temps will drop so low for a long enough time that you may experience some loss of production for a time. But even in these conditions, getting up there to remove the snow is still too risky in most cases and the amount of produced energy lost to snow cover is generally very small.
There are specially designed devices called “solar panel snow rakes” that some folks like to use, but they are still made to be used in mostly one-story situations. The best and safest thing to do is be patient and just wait for temperatures to rise and the sun can do its job and melt any ice or snow off.
Stay alert, though, if you have entryways directly under your solar array!
After heavy snowfall, you could experience snow sliding off the panels in that area.
How long does Utility commissioning usually take?
Commissioning can take between 2 days and 2 weeks. After the install (1-3 days for roof work + 1-2 days for wiring) and proper inspections, we will need some paperwork from you, and then we can submit your final application to Ameren and request commissioning.
Paperwork commonly needed for commissioning:
1. Homeowner's Insurance Declaration Page
2. Signed Certificate of Completion