According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the cost to install solar has dropped by more than 70% over the last decade, leading the industry to expand into new markets and deploy thousands of systems nationwide.

In the last decade, solar has experienced an average annual growth rate of 50 percent. Solar has ranked first or second in new electric capacity additions in each of the last six years. S&P Global examined the current pipeline of renewable projects across the U.S., which showed that solar photovoltaic, or PV, is becoming increasingly popular, with almost 76,000 MW of projects in various stages of development — more than double the current installed capacity of 35,000 MW.

How does it work?

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) breaks it down simply, noting that solar photovoltaic (“PV”) panels typically consist of silicon, tempered glass, aluminum, copper, and semiconductor materials. Silicon, an element most commonly found in sand, has conductive properties that allow it to absorb and convert sunlight into electricity. When light interacts with a silicon cell, it causes electrons to be set into motion, which initiates a flow of electric current in a process known as the “photovoltaic effect”.

A solar power plant consists of a series of solar panels connected with electric conversion equipment that process the sun’s power into energy that can be used in your household. Like traditional power plants, solar power plants deliver energy onto the electrical grid to be distributed to businesses and households in neighboring communities.

Is It safe?

Yes. Because the PV panel materials are enclosed and do not mix with water or vaporize into the air, there is little-to-no risk of chemicals, including greenhouse gases, being released into the environment during normal use. According to a study conducted by NC State University, Crystalline silicon PV panels, an extremely common panel variant used around the world, “do not pose a material risk of toxicity to public health and safety.” Additionally, as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority points out, any Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) produced by solar panel systems are in the same extremely low frequency range as those induced by household appliances.  All Recurrent Energy’s solar facilities are designed to meet strict electrical safety standards, ensuring safe operation throughout the project life.