HOw solar works

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How Solar Works

even on cloudy days!

A basic solar array is comprised of two components: solar modules (panels), and inverter(s), which converts the DC energy produced by the panels to grid-compatible AC power. Secondary components, such as racking, conduit, wires, disconnects, and meters, make up the BOS, or “balance of system..


Today, every system NWES installs includes online monitoring so you can track of the power produced by the solar system. 


Designing the system to match your power needs and your roof configuration is our job. Our goal is to generate as much power as you need, install an aesthetically good-looking and technologically efficient array, stay within the parameters of the incentive programs, and of course be fully compliant with electrical and fire safety codes.


We will recommend options to you for equipment we know and trust. We will usually offer you the Made-in-WA solar modules (panels) made by Itek Energy in Bellingham and an out-of-state alternative. When a customer goes solar, they earn benefit from two metered (per kWh) incentives. 


In the diagram above, all solar electricity produced by the solar array is measured in kWh on a Production Meter before it flows into your home or building. In WA, kWh produced multiplied by a Production Incentive (state incentive) rate determines your annual production incentive payment. Solar

electricity flows into your building to be used by your many normal uses and is supplemented by grid electricity at night or whenever solar doesn’t fulfill all your needs. If your solar array produces more than you need, you have an excess of power. The excess automatically feeds into the grid via a two-way or

bidirectional Utility Meter and the solar owner gets credits for that excess power. The excess is “stored” as bill credits which automatically reduce a future bill. Credits roll over month to month, but once a year (April 30) they zero out and you start a new year. 


This is called Net Metering. Learn more on the incentives page.

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