affordable electricity to the nation's fastest growing urban areas."


How solar cells work

How It Works

  • Solar panels are made of materials that convert sunlight directly into electricity through a chemical process.

  • Thin semiconductor layers form an electric field, positive on one side and negative on the other side.

  • When sunlight strikes the semiconductor, electrons are knocked loose from the atoms of the material creating the current.

  • Wires are attached to the positive and negative sides to carry the electricity from the cell to the device to be powered.

Regulatory Status

If approved by regulators, during the next five years, Southern California Edison plans to install, 3.5 million of the most advanced photovoltaic panels or 250 megawatts of solar-generating capacity -- enough capacity to serve approximately 162,000 Southern California homes. Decisions have not yet been made on other building sites or panel suppliers.

The company asked the California Public Utilities Commission on March 27th for approval to commit a total of $875 million to the utility's solar project, informing regulators the expected capacity cost per installed watt would be approximately $3.50, half the average current capacity cost of other photovoltaic installationSubsequently, on May 8, the company provided additional cost projections to regulators, telling them the utility forecasts an energy cost of approximately 20 cents per kilowatt-hour after adjusting for time of delivery.