What is solar energy used for?

Once converted into electricity, solar energy is used in homes and businesses just like any other form of electricity. 


What are some advantages of solar energy?

After the initial investment in solar-energy equipment, the costs are minimal since the sun provides free "fuel." These facilities are not affected by the supply and demand of fuel or subject to price volatility, and solar energy can help reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy. Solar energy is also clean and renewable, which helps protect our environment.


How does solar energy work?

NEER Solar Animated GIF

1. As light hits the solar panels, the solar energy is converted into direct current (DC) electricity.

2. The direct current flows from the panels into power inverters and is converted into altering current (AC) electricity, which is suitable for use by homes and businesses.

3. The AC electricity from the power inverters is collected using cables and delivered to a central electrical substation, where it passes through a power transformer.

4. The electricity travels through transformers, and the voltage is boosted for delivery onto the transmission lines.

5. Clean, renewable, American-made solar electricity is delivered to homes and businesses.


How many solar facilities does your company have and where are they located?

Through its subsidiaries, NextEra Energy Resources is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and the sun. We currently have ownership interests in approximately 3,400 MW of operating solar projects (as of Dec. 31, 2021), representing universal-scale solar facilities in 29 states, as well as multiple small-scale (distributed generation) solar projects.


Are solar facilities good for the environment?

Solar energy emits no pollutants and the overall impact of solar on human health is overwhelmingly positive. To learn more, view our solar environment page.


What percentage of generation does solar energy represent in the NextEra Energy Resources' portfolio?

Solar energy represents about 13 percent of NextEra Energy Resources' generation.


What do you look for in a site when building a renewable energy project?

We look for a location with good wind or solar resources, landowners who are interested in hosting our equipment and proximity to transmission lines.


If I have land and want you to assess its suitability for a renewable energy project, how do I get you to come out to look at it?

We cannot guarantee that we will assess every parcel of land presented to us. However, you can contact us for more information.


How much land does a solar project require?

Typically, a project will require 5 to 8 acres of land for each megawatt of solar energy capacity.


Is there construction traffic?

Yes. During construction there will be additional traffic. Although the construction period is only a matter of months, it will require heavy equipment, including bulldozers, graders, trenching machines, concrete trucks, flatbed trucks and large cranes.


How long will it take to complete construction?

It depends on the size of the project. However, 12 to 18 months is a reasonable time frame to build most solar projects.


How tall are the panels?

The panel arrays would stand approximately 10-12 feet above ground level at its highest point.


Will the project site be fenced?

Yes, the project’s commercial-scale solar arrays and collection substation will be enclosed by a fence.


Do solar energy projects make noise?

During the short construction period, sound at the project site would be typical of construction sites. Solar projects operate quietly during the operational period.


Can the equipment be damaged by weather?

The support systems for the solar arrays are designed to withstand the typical wind-loading present in this area. PV panel manufacturers have tested and rated their equipment to withstand the impact of hailstones up to a certain size. Any panels that are damaged by hail or other debris can be individually replaced without taking the entire project out of service.

In the case of severe weather or natural disaster, if panels are damaged, trained facility personnel will safely collect, recycle where feasible and/or properly dispose of them. Tracking panels can be placed into the “stowed” position to avoid or minimize potential weather effects from snow and ice.


Would the panels have glare?

Photovoltaic panels are constructed with non-reflective coatings and/or glass. These panels are designed specifically to absorb as much sunlight as possible in order to maximize electrical generation, rather than reflect sunlight. Further, the metal supports that form the racking system are typically constructed using galvanized steel or aluminum. Through design and intelligent siting, glint and glare can be eliminated or kept to a minimum.