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Solar Power in New York State – How Does It Work?

solar panels

While most New York State residents understand the basic concepts of solar power, the process that transforms energy generated by the sun into energy that powers homes and businesses is quite remarkable. This article provides some basic information about how solar power works.

Solar Panels and Photovoltaic (PV) Cells


Solar panels are comprised of many interconnected PV cells,
sometimes called solar cells.

What Is Photovoltaic (PV) Technology and How Does It Work?

PV materials and devices convert sunlight into electrical energy. A single PV device is known as a cell. An individual PV cell is usually small, typically producing about 1 or 2 watts of power. These cells are made of different semiconductor materials and are often less than the thickness of four human hairs. In order to withstand the outdoors for many years, cells are sandwiched between protective materials in a combination of glass and/or plastics.

To boost the power output of PV cells, they are connected together in chains to form larger units known as modules or panels. Modules can be used individually, or several can be connected to form arrays. One or more arrays is then connected to the electrical grid as part of a complete PV system. Because of this modular structure, PV systems can be built to meet almost any electric power need, small or large.

PV modules and arrays are just one part of a PV system. Systems also include mounting structures that point panels toward the sun, along with the components that take the direct-current (DC) electricity produced by modules and convert it to the alternating-current (AC) electricity used to power all of the appliances in your home.


US Department of Energy

solar panels

Interesting Facts About Solar Power


While solar panels are most efficient when receiving direct sunlight, they can still generate electricity on cloudy days from sunlight that diffuses through the clouds. This is the same reason why dermatologists still recommend wearing sunscreen on cloudy days.

solar panels in New York State

Solar Power and New York State

New York continues to be a national leader in the clean energy transition with the most aggressive climate change program in the nation putting the State on the path to be entirely carbon-neutral across all sectors of the economy. New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) calls for 70 percent of the State’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 and 6,000 megawatts of solar by 2025. NY-Sun, New York’s solar initiative advances the scale-up of solar and is moving the State to a more sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry.



Solar Power for New York Homeowners


Harvest Power provides thousands of New York homeowners with clean, reliable energy through solar panel installations. From rooftop and custom installations to community solar solutions, we make it easy for New York residents to harness the sun’s power, cutting energy costs while minimizing their carbon footprint. Contact us today to learn more about we can help you.