Solar Resources

Solar Industry Resources

Solar energy has become the fastest growing power generation source in the United States, due to a variety of factors including declining costs in manufacturing, installation, service and financing. Utilities in particular are procuring solar power systems as a cost-effective means of adding distributed and central generation at strategic locations across their electrical networks.




What are the different types of solar technology?

Photovoltaics  (PV) – Photovoltaic panels are the most common solar technology used in solar plants. PV panels use solar cells to convert energy from sunlight directly into electricity. PV panels are now the most common type of solar technology used in solar power plants.


Solar Thermal (STE) – STE harnesses sunlight to generate thermal energy for use the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.


Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) – CSP systems generate power by concentrating sunlight to create high temperatures to drive a steam turbine.


What type of Solar Technology does Tradewind use?


Tradewind Energy develops utility-scale solar plants using photovoltaic panels.


How does solar photovoltaic technology work?

Photovoltaic panels convert sunlight into electric current through the photoelectric effect. Small particles in sunlight called photons strike the solar cells, transferring their energy to electrons in the cells and causing them to flow through an electrical circuit.


What other equipment is used in a utility-scale solar plant?

In addition to solar panels, a utility-scale solar plant includes wiring, a mounting/racking system, and inverters that convert direct current (DC) power from the solar system to alternating current (AC) power suitable for delivery to the electric grid.


What is the size of a typical solar installation, and how much energy can be produced?


Utility-scale solar is typically used to describe projects with a generating capacity greater than 2 megawatts (MW) that deliver power directly to the electric grid. Utility-scale solar plants can be built as distributed generation (located at or near the point of use) or as a central-station plant (similar to other conventional power plants).


  • Distributed Generation/small utility-scale (2MW-10MW)
  • Large utility-scale (10MW-200+MW)


How much power will a Utility-Scale solar plant produce?


On average, a PV solar system will generate enough electricity to power 150-250 homes for each MW of capacity, depending on the project location, solar resource at the given site, and the type of PV technology used.



Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)

PV Solar Report –

Database for State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (