The weather may be getting warmer, but it’s still winter, and snow is inevitable for many parts of the country. Many people wonder if their solar panels still produce electricity during this cold time of year. You might be surprised to learn that the performance of your solar system may not be significantly effected. In fact, many factors allow panels to thrive in snowy conditions. For starters, solar photovoltaic panels rely on light, and not temperature. In fact, cold temperatures can improve performance over high temperatures. Below we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about how solar panels operate in the winter.
A long time ago… 1978 to be exact, the United States was in energy peril. Under the OPEC embargo, oil prices were at an all-time high and continued to increase with no end in sight. In order to spur an increase in domestic energy supply, President Jimmy Carter signed the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), which required electric utilities to purchase additional energy from independent power producers. Various methods of purchasing this energy emerged, but one method was particularly innovative. The State of California offered independent energy producers, largely wind farms, contracts to sell the utilities energy at a fixed per-kWh price over a long-term contract period.