Skip Navigation LinksDEP > Citizens > Saving Energy > Renewables > Solar


Did you know? Pennsylvania has over 200 MWs of solar installed, even in open fields!  Across the Commonwealth the sun is generating power for homeowners, businesses, schools and institutions.   

Solar Panels

Sun energy, or solar, can be converted into heat (thermal) and electricity. Solar thermal energy can be used for hot water and space heating or to heat fluids to high temperatures to operate turbines that generate electricity. Photovoltaic (PV) cells convert sunlight directly into electricity. For solar basics, types of technologies and applications, and where solar is installed go to the Energy Information Administration website Solar Basics.

Take the quiz: Test your solar IQ

Ready to weigh your solar options? Below are some guides to get started:

Do you rent or own a condo or have a rooftop that is unsuitable for solar?
Community shared solar energy is another option for you. A community can join together to collectively choose a contractor and location for a photovoltaic (PV) system. Each community owner either gets a share of the electricity generated by the PV system or a credit on their utility bill, or other financial benefit. A Guide to Community Shared Solar explores a range of incentives for community shared solar projects and highlights best practices.

The Solarize Guidebook offers neighborhoods a plan for making group purchases of rooftop solar through a coordinated program.

PA DEP is very committed to renewable technologies like solar. The U.S. Department of Energy is providing funding for a statewide planning effort to increase Pennsylvania's solar energy production to at least 10 percent of in-state electricity sales by 2030. For more information go to: PA's Solar Future.