The electric main panel (EMP) is a component of your home’s electrical system that provides connectivity to your electric utility, electricity distribution to the different circuits in your home, and protection from short circuits or overload conditions.
The solar system needs to be connected to the electric panel to maximize energy usage. The energy generated through EMP can supply your home or go to the electric grid.
Electric main panels can handle a given amount of current and a fixed type of circuit breaker. Depending on your house age or the type of EMP installed, they may have issues. They may be outdated, have a limited current capacity, or have limited space for additional circuit breakers.
If this is the case, you will need to upgrade the EMP prior to or during your solar system installation. Electrical panel replacement or upgrades will also prevent your house from possible electrical fires.
An electric panel upgrade is advisable if considering a solar panel upgrade to some of the higher-efficiency solar panel products.
According to utility and city codes, there should be a minimum distance of 3 feet between the gas and electric panel. For that trench work is applicable to meet local electrical code, such as maintaining a minimum distance from a gas line.
However, the cost for an electric panel upgrade is small compared to the benefits. Costs related to an electric panel upgrade or required for solar system installation are part of the solar system cost. Thus, these costs are eligible for the Federal Investment Tax Credit.