As temperatures plunge during shorter winter days, solar power might be the last thing on your mind.
But renewable energy advocates and environmentalists say winter would be a reasonable time to consider going solar.
Solar energy will play a growing part of the Phoenix energy supply in one way or another. The Arizona Republic reported in November that Salt River Project plans to add 1,000 megawatts of solar capacity to its system over seven years, enough energy to supply about a quarter million homes.
Many homeowners aren’t waiting, opting instead to install their own rooftop systems. Phoenix residents tend to wait until closer to summer before exploring options and signing contracts, said Brandon Cheshire, founder of SunHarvest Solar. There are pros and cons to this.
Along with weighing those benefits, there are other questions related to weather, climate and even animals that people new to solar energy have asked.
From how to stop pigeons from nesting on solar panels to whether extreme heat would affect a photovoltaic, or PV, system, several experts discussed common misconceptions about how the environment affects rooftop solar power.
1. Is summer a better time to install solar panels?
Not necessarily. Although Phoenix racks up nearly 300 days of sunshine every year, solar companies find most people don’t think of installing a PV system until summer is nearly upon them.
“We get most of our inquiries at the start of summer, when people get their first big electrical bill,” Cheshire said. “Then they start winding down close to the holidays and tax season when people are more preoccupied with travels, buying presents, school being out.”