Solar panels on building in Ithaca, NY

Solar panels on building in Ithaca, NY

Solar Energy

Cornell Cooperative Extension provides consumers with unbiased, research-based information to enable them to make informed decisions for themselves and their families. In this section, you will find information on solar energy that may help you to decide whether solar is right for you and your home.

Check out our Community Shared Solar campaign, running now! Even if you rent your home or apartment, or the home you own is completely shaded, you can now go solar. Sign up now to learn more about options to buy your power from -- or directly buy a portion of -- a solar farm. More information is available on our Community Shared Solar page. 

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About Solar Energy

Solar energy is simply energy derived from the sun, that we can convert to electricity or thermal energy. Since sunlight is relatively infinite, solar energy is one of our most promising renewable resources.

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Residential Solar

For the typical electricity needs of homeowners, a solar panel system can potentially supply between 70 and 110% of energy demand.

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Solar Thermal Systems

Solar thermal systems convert solar radiation to thermal energy. A solar water heater can meet 90-100% of your hot water needs in the summer.

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Solar Land Leasing

If you own land you would like to lease, consider the installation of a solar farm. Solar developers are contacting farmers and landowners in NY State to secure secure long-term land leases on 10 to 30 acre parcels.

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Finding Installers

To be eligible for incentives and financing through NYSERDA, you must choose a participating contractor to install your solar system. Learn more about finding a contractor here.

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Net Metering

Net metering is the mechanism by which you get credit for the power your solar system produces. Whenever the sun is shining on them, your solar panels are producing power.

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Last updated October 6, 2017