Grid Interconnected Solar-Electric Systems


Also known as on-grid, grid-tied, or utilityinteractive (UI), grid-intertied solar-electric systems generate solar electricity and route it to the electric utility grid, offsetting a home’s or business’ electrical consumption and, in some instances, even turning the electric meter backwards. Living with a grid-connected solar-electric system is no different than living with grid power, except that some or all of the electricity you use comes from the sun. In many states, the utility credits a homeowner’s account for excess solar electricity produced. This amount can then be applied to other months when the system produces less or in months when electrical consumption is greater. This arrangement is called net metering or net billing. The specific terms of net metering laws and regulations vary from state to state and utility to utility. Consult your local electricity provider or state regulatory agency for their guidelines.
The following illustration includes the primary components of any grid interie solar electric system. See this section for an introduction to the function(s) of each component.

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