Do Solar Panels Work During a Power Outage?

Man visible only by flashlight, looking at home's electric panel during power outage

One of the most common questions we hear from homeowners who are thinking about installing solar panels is whether they work in a power outage. The short answer is no—most residential solar panel systems are connected to the electric grid, and anytime it goes down, they go down with it. 


There is, however, one important exception. If you have battery storage, your solar panels will stay on during a power outage. 


Solar Power Pros specializes in solar panel and battery storage installation for Colorado homes. We can help you get reliable backup power for your home with a solar panel and battery system. 


Keep reading to learn more about how you can use solar panels to power your house during a power outage.

Why Do Solar Panels Turn Off During a Power Outage?

Rooftop solar panels are typically grid-tied, which means they are connected to the main electric grid. The grid connection allows you to access the electric grid when there isn’t enough sunlight to produce solar power—at night or on a cloudy day. It also allows you to send excess electricity to the grid when your solar panels are producing too much. 


Because of the interconnection, electricity flows between solar-powered houses and the grid. During a power outage, this is dangerous. If power were to flow from your solar panels into the grid while a utility worker was repairing a damaged electrical line, they could be seriously injured or even killed. Because of this, all grid-tied solar panels are automatically turned off whenever the grid is down.


The good news is that the more money you spend on electricity, the more you stand to save with solar panels. By installing home solar now, you can reduce your electric bills immediately and protect yourself against rising costs.

How to Keep Your Solar Panels On During a Power Outage

If you want your solar panels to work when the power goes out, all you have to do is install a solar battery.

Battery-Backed Solar Panels Stay on During a Blackout

Solar batteries work by storing the excess electricity your solar panels generate so you can use it yourself instead of sending it back to the grid. 


This makes it possible to keep your solar panels on during a power outage. The battery gives your solar panels a place to send the excess electricity they produce, instead of sending it to the electric grid, which allows them to operate without a grid connection. During a power outage, your solar panel and battery system will disconnect from the electric grid and operate in “island mode” until it’s back up and running. 


During a daytime outage, your solar panels will power your house and simultaneously charge your battery. If the power goes out at night, your battery will provide backup power to keep your essentials running. As soon as the sun rises, your solar panels will start producing electricity again and recharge your battery, giving you reliable backup power for as long as the outage lasts.

Battery Benefits Go Beyond Backup Power

Solar batteries have many benefits in addition to providing backup power during a blackout. 

  • Buy less power from the electric grid 
  • Use stored solar power to avoid time-of-use rates 
  • Reduce your carbon footprint by using more solar energy 
  • Reduce your reliance on your utility company


Thanks to a recent expansion by the Inflation Reduction Act, the federal solar tax credit is the highest it’s ever been. With the solar tax credit, you can reduce what you owe when you file your federal income taxes by 30% of your total solar panel and battery installation costs. This tax credit won’t be available forever, so schedule your solar installation now to take advantage of savings!

Solar Power Pros: Colorado’s Go-To Solar Battery Installer

Solar Power Pros is the local solar company Colorado homeowners trust for solar panel and battery installation in Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, and the surrounding areas. We design custom storage solutions using leading products, including Enphase solar batteries and Tesla Powerwall solar batteries. 


We’ve been in business for over a decade and have installed thousands of solar energy systems in Colorado. If you’re looking for a local solar installer you can trust, give us a call. We will help you decide whether solar panels and battery storage are worth it for your home.

Get reliable blackout protection! Call 303-797-6527 or contact us to learn more about solar battery storage.


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