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How does solar energy work?

How does solar energy work?

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Sunlight is a natural source of energy. Solar technology converts sunlight into electricity that can power your home. Although you’re still connected to the electric grid, solar power is pollution-free and reduces your dependence on power generated from other sources, such as coal. But how does solar really work?

A simple look at solar farms

How Solar Farms Work banner

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During the day, light from the sun hits solar panels at a solar farm. The panels contain photovoltaic cells, which convert photons from sunlight into electricity.

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Electricity is sent from the solar farm to the grid.

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Electricity is sent from the grid to your home. No rooftop solar panels or special technologies are required on your end.

Solar panels on your home

How rooftop solar works illustration

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During the day, light from the sun hits solar panels on your roof. The panels contain photovoltaic cells, which convert photons from sunlight into electricity.

 

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Direct current (DC) electricity flows from the panels to an inverter, which converts DC power into alternating current (AC) power, which you can use in your home.

 

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A dual-register meter keeps track of the power your system produces, as well as the power you use from the grid. With the Reliant Simple Solar Sell Back plan, you can receive extra credit for excess electricity that is returned to the grid.

Home at night illustration

What happens when the sun goes down?

Whether on a solar farm or your rooftop, solar panels don’t do much at night. But remember, your home is always connected to the electric grid. So as long as the grid is up, you’re powered 24/7.

Solar wheat field

Reliant supports solar energy without rooftop panels

The Reliant Local Solar plan supports 100% locally sourced electricity from solar farms in Houston and Dallas.

If you want to support solar energy but don’t want the hassle and maintenance of solar panels on your roof, the Reliant Local Solar plan supports 100% locally sourced Texas solar energy, at a low fixed price for up to 5 years, without cancellation fees.2

Get more details about the Reliant Local Solar plan ›

Reliant Simple Solar Sell Back plan

If you already have solar panels installed, you may be interested in an electricity plan that allows you to receive credit for excess electricity you return to the grid. The Reliant Simple Solar Sell Back plan, available to customers in Texas, allows you to receive credit for excess electricity you generate from your home’s solar panels.3

Learn more about the Reliant Simple Solar Sell Back plan ›

 
Solar panel with sun

Make It Solar - An easy, affordable way to harness the sun

Whether you live in a house, apartment or condo, the Make It Solar program from Reliant gives you the benefits of solar energy without rooftop panels. For a small monthly charge, 100% of your electricity usage is offset with Texas and national solar renewable energy certificates.

Nothing changes about your electricity plan. You’re simply doing your part to support clean solar-sourced energy whenever you flip a switch.3

To find out more, Call 1-866-RELIANT or shop for plans.

Terms, conditions and other restrictions

1Plan available to new acquisition customers only. Plan transferability restrictions may apply if moving to a new location during your contract term. This offer may not be available in all areas and is subject to change without notice. These solar farms are registered with ERCOT and the PUCT as Bovine Solar, LLC, and Eddy North Solar, LLC. 

2A dual-register meter beyond the Smart Meter may be required to measure generation and consumption. The customer’s home generation system must be connected to the grid by their TDSP to receive monthly payments for their surplus generation as reported by their TDSP. The customer must be located in a competitive ERCOT market.

3Reliant will use commercially reasonable efforts to offset 100% of your electricity usage with solar renewable energy certificates in support of the Make It Solar program. Reliant will not be liable for damages associated with any delay or failure to perform as a result of a force majeure event that prevents us from performing our obligations in whole or in part. Neither Reliant nor you shall be liable for any indirect, special, consequential, incidental or punitive damages for claims arising under this program. Reliant makes no representations or warranties, and we expressly disclaim all other warranties, written or oral, express or implied, including any warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.