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How are solar panel projects constructed?

The Solar Project Life Cycle

Solar projects consists of four different stages that take a solar site from development and ideation to decommission. 


Development consists of bringing together the site, permitting, environmental, and key relationships to set the project foundations. (4 - 5 years)


Construction equipment is mobilized, the site prepared, and modules and equipment installed. (1 - 2 years)


The site produces clean energy and can power thousands of homes. (35 - 40 years)


Properly recycle the site's components and return the land back to its original state. (1 year)

What Inside A Solar Panel?

The basic makeup of a solar panel is solar cells, glass, a frame, and a junction box. Solar panels typically consist of tempered glass, polymer, aluminum, copper, and semiconductor materials that can be recovered and recycled at the end of their useful life. 

Material By Weight

80% is common tempered glass and aluminum frame. Electricity components make up less than 5% of the weight of most panels. The remaining 15% consists of common plastics. 

Sealed From The Elements

Solar cells in panels are encapsulated from air and moisture between two layers of plastic, providing decades of corrosion-free operation. 

Two Primary Technologies

The two primary solar cell technologies are crystalline silicon and cadmium telluride. Silicon is the second most common element in the Earth’s crust and is obtained by high-temperature processing of quartz sand that removes its oxygen molecules. Refined silicon is converted to a PV cell by adding extremely small amounts of boron and phosphorus, both of which are common and of very low toxicity. Free cadmium is toxic, but all of the approximate 7 grams of cadmium in one panel is in the form of a chemical compound cadmium telluride, which has 1/100th the toxicity of free cadmium. Cadmium telluride is a very stable compound that is non-volatile, non-soluble in water, and used in household products like paint and batteries. 

How The Solar Site Installation Process Works

There are no toxic chemicals or processes in system installation and construction. Below are the steps to take land from undeveloped to operationally ready solar facility. 

1. Clearing Vegetation

First, the site is mechanically cleared of large vegetation and the land is surveyed. 

2. Prepping

Support posts are then driven into the ground, and trenches for underground wiring are dug. 

3. Installing

Solar panels are bolted to metal support structures, and inverter pads are installed. 

4. Testing

Once all components are connected, the system is tested and only then turned on.