Solar panels are designed to operate in conjunction with the utility grid and are inactive in the event of a grid outage. This limitation is rooted in both technical considerations and regulatory compliance.
From a technical standpoint, solar panels harness sunlight to generate power independently of a facility’s electricity consumption. In a grid-connected system, surplus solar energy is fed back into the grid for credit, and any additional power requirements are seamlessly sourced from the grid. This dynamic interplay serves to notably diminish the need for external energy procurement during daylight hours, thereby optimizing operational costs through a levelized cost of energy.
The second rationale involves safety regulations. During grid outages, the potential risk to repair crews arises if a local power generator, such as a solar array, inadvertently feeds power back into the grid lines. Consequently, utility regulations mandate that solar arrays automatically deactivate during such outages to ensure compliance with safety protocols.