Solar Basics

Side of house mount Courtesy Brightside Solar in Steamboat Springs.“Going solar” for most residents and businesses means installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on their property and connecting them to the electrical grid serving their property. 

Solar installs can be ground-mounted or installed on roofs of homes, businesses, barns, garages, duplexes and more. Some homeowners in the greater Steamboat Springs area also have solar as an off-grid installation.

  • PV panels are made up of individual cells that convert light to Direct Current (DC) electricity. PV cells are usually composed of silicon or cadmium telluride. 
  • An inverter is installed along with the solar panels to transform the Direct Current (DC) electricity into Alternating Current (AC) electricity to use in your home or business or to send excess back to the electric grid. 
  • Solar panels are often connected to form an array and produce more power.
  • More information about solar technology can be found at:
  • National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) 
  • U.S. Department of Solar Energy Technologies Office