Solar Panels

Solar (photovoltaic) energy systems use the sun's energy to produce electricity

Solar panels on roof of house

Here is the information you’ll need to know before moving forward with the solar panel installation process.

Types of solar panels

Systems connected to the power grid

Some systems connect directly to the electric grid. If the system is equipped with the proper inverter, you can sell surplus generation back to PPL or another supplier – it’s known as net metering.

Learn more

Stand-alone systems

These systems are ideal for powering area lighting or providing electricity to remote locations. They have battery backup and charging systems, and the power supplied by the system is the sole source of electricity to the device it powers.

Note: If you want to connect to the PPL Electric Utilities transmission grid or participate in the PJM market, please contact PJM.

The Role of the Contractor

We recommend you hire a professional solar installation contractor who can help you in several ways:

  • Return on investment: A contractor will help weigh the equipment and installation costs and the expected payback period on your system. The payback period is the number of years it will take before the savings generated by your system offset the initial investment.
  • System design: This will provide you with the details on the type of equipment to be installed, how and where it will be installed, and any other improvements that must be made to accommodate the installation.
  • PPL application: If you plan to connect your system to the electric grid and to “sell” power back to PPL, you’ll need to apply. Your contractor can do this for you.
  • Permits and Installation: Your contractor can handle securing permits (e.g., building permits, electrical permits) required by your municipality and can take care of the installation itself. This might include subcontracting numerous trades, as work can affect roofs, structures and landscaping.
  • Warranty: Contractors may guarantee their work with a warranty.

Evaluating Solar

To determine if solar is right for you, answer these questions:

  1. Can panels be installed given the type, age and condition of your roof/structure?
  2. Can you position the solar panels to generate enough power to justify the overall investment? (For example, roofs with a southern exposure typically generate more power than roofs that face north.)
  3. What other improvements will be required to install solar? (Some installers require shingles to be less than a certain age before agreeing to install panels.)
  4. What size/type of panels and equipment will you need, and what level of generation can you expect?
  5. What is the total cost of the system, including the solar panels and other equipment?
  6. Should you purchase or lease the system, and what will be the return on your investment?

Other Resources

Check out the following sites for more information on renewable energy and solar installations:

Always do your homework before hiring a contractor. Make sure the contractor is properly insured and registered to conduct business in Pennsylvania. PPL cannot recommend contractors. Instead, we recommend you consult resources such as the following: