360-746-0859  |  4041 Home Rd Ste A, Bellingham, WA 98226

Does Solar Work in Washington State?

Okay, does solar REALLY work in Washington State? YES!

Western Washington receives 70% as much solar per year as Southern California and 20% more than Germany, the world leader in solar installations. While Seattle is known for its overcast skies and grey days in the winter, it’s easy to forget about the long, sunny days Western Washington enjoys throughout the summer. Combined with the nation’s highest state and utility incentives, the majority of our customers are seeing a 6-10 year payback on the cost of their solar PV system.

The graphic below shows the available photovoltaic solar resource of the majority of the United States and, for comparison, Gernmany. Number overlays reflect how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year are generated for each kilowatt (kW) of solar installed, as calculated by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s PVWatts Calculator.

NREL Solar Resource Map

How does a solar electric system work?

A solar electric system starts with an array of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, which are mounted onto your roof or as a ground mount system. The modules convert the sun’s photons into DC electricity, which travels to an inverter, converting the DC electricity into AC and providing usable electricity for your home. After leaving the inverter, the electricity passes through a production meter which is installed by your utility. This meter tracks all of the power produced by your solar system before you ever use it, allowing you to take advantage of available incentives. The electricity then travels to your house’s electrical panel and to any electrical devices in your home, before any remaining electricity is sent out to the grid. Due to net metering, any electricity you don’t use is saved as a credit to your utility account, which you can use throughout the year.

While some of our customers opt for an off-grid battery backup system, the majority of our customers go with grid-tied solar PV systems. Which option is best for you? Contact us about doing a free solar site assessment, and we’ll help you figure out the best option for your energy needs.