Solar Electric Systems

Above: Commercial Green Roof with Photovoltaic Component.

Roll back your meter with Solar Electric.

The photovoltaic system absorbs energy from the sun and generates electricity for everyday use.

Solar USA offers a free consultation for interest in both solar thermal and electric systems. Find out how current tax credits and rebates make this a profitable investment even more affordable.

Solar USA is currently installing systems across the continental United States. No project is too big or too small with Solar USA.  Email us with your questions about getting started with solar energy.

Myths & Facts:

MYTH #1: Solar devices require more energy to manufacture than they produce in their lifetime.


This study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conclusively demonstrates that energy payback for photovoltaic (PV) power is, in the worst case, less than 4 years. Given that PV module lifetimes are generally in excess of 20 years, a PV system will produce far more energy than it consumes over its lifetime.

Technological progress in the four years since the issuance of this report has tended to bring down the energy consumption of PV manufacturing yet further, as silicon growth processes in particular become more efficient.

Energy output and input ratios for concentrating solar power (CSP) and solar thermal devices are even more favorable, given their simple manufacture. As best we can determine, this myth has its origins in the early history of PV power, when devices were essentially custom-fabricated for military, space and research markets.

MYTH #2: Solar manufacturing results in more pollution than is saved by solar usage.


As shown in the NREL study above, a PV system meeting half of the electrical needs of a typical household would eliminate approximately half a ton of sulfur dioxide pollution from the air, and about 600 lbs. of nitrogen oxides. In contrast, the pollutants produced in the manufacturing process are minimal and largely recycled.

CSP plant equipment and solar thermal devices are essentially specialized formations of glass, steel, aluminum and plastics; their manufacture is comparable to that involved in making household windows, water heaters or mirrors.

PV devices are essentially "electric glass." Their typical silicon substrate is a close relative of window glass. The processes used to render it electrically reactive are the same as are used in the microchip manufacturing industry, acknowledged by states and municipalities as a clean manufacturing process.

MYTH #3: Solar is too expensive for widespread usage.


Solar PV technologies have declined in price every year since they were introduced onto the market, driven by improved research and development, and most of all by steady increases in sales volume. (In 1954, approximately one watt of PV generating devices was manufactured. In 2004, approximately one billion watts will be manufactured worldwide.)

Every solar panel purchased makes the next one cheaper, in stark contrast to nonrenewable sources, which become scarcer and more expensive with every ton that is burned.

PV has recently exploded into a number of industrial markets, where it is quite simply the lowest -cost source of power available. These include highway warning signs, rural irrigation applications and remote electrical and communications devices. Similarly, for any application more than about half a mile away from the electrical grid, a solar system will likely prove less expensive than will power line construction.

The most rapidly-growing segment of the solar industry is for "grid connected" systems - rooftop solar panels on homes or businesses that remain connected to the conventional electrical grid. In some cases, as where electricity is more expensive during the middle of the day, or when solar is used to support power-critical applications (e.g. banking, microchip manufacturing), the economics are very compelling without further incentives. In other places, comparatively modest state or federal incentives (listed comprehensively at can make solar a great investment for home or business owners that betters with every year. Utilities and large consumers are becoming more conscious of the value of solar and other generation sources with the publication of works like "Small is Profitable" - available at

MYTH #4: Solar won't work where I live.


Solar thermal and PV devices are dependent on light, not heat - and this light does not need to be direct. Put another way, if you can find your way around outside, a solar panel could be working. While the South enjoys particularly good resources, the entire U.S. has more than adequate solar resources.

More important than place-to-place variations in solar intensity is the price of daytime electricity where you live and the existence of state incentives for clean energy. See our incentives page to learn more. For immediate assistance, call our main office: (718) 784-4239.