Question #8: Will Solar Panels Still Generate Power During Grid Blackouts?

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Written by: Sarah Hancock | Best Company Editorial Team

Last Updated: November 1st, 2019

This is the eighth question in a twelve-question series. Please click here to read the introduction, as well as access the other questions in the series. Or, download the printable ebook to view the entire series.

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"Not necessarily. We found out the hard way that ours didn't, and, like the rest of our neighbors, had no power for three days after the October snowstorm a few years ago. Work with your contractor to make sure ahead of time that yours does." -Shel Horowitz

"No, unless purchased with a battery backup." -Geoff Mirkin

"Yes, when they are connected at the facility level. This is one of the main benefits of end-use solar installations. They can be islanded from the grid in times of blackouts or other contingencies, such as post-recovery from extreme weather events." -Greg Reed

"For safety reasons, most systems turn off in a power-outage. If having power during a power outage is a necessity, then you should consider investing in battery storage." -Simone Garneau

"In most cases, no. For safety reasons, most building codes prohibit it unless you have a battery backup." -Teris Pantazes

"The panels will still generate, but unfortunately, due to legislation, the inverter (the device to convert DC power from the panels to AC power to the plug) will shut down." -Mark Stevenson

"Yes, they still produce electricity, but because they are tied to the grid, you will not be able to draw this energy during a blackout unless the system has a battery backup connected to it." -Matt Stoutenburg

"Most solar systems today are grid-tied and have a mechanism that would not allow the homeowner to use the power generated during a blackout." -Julio Daniel Hernandez

Click here to go on to Question #9: Is Solar Panel Efficiency an Important Factor?

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