How Solar Power Holds Up in Poor Weather


The practicality of solar energy often raises the question:

“Does solar remain a practical investment when consistent sunny days aren’t guaranteed?”

It’s a legitimate concern when faced with evaluating the long-term achievability of investing in solar energy solutions. Understanding how solar panels hold up in less-than-ideal weather conditions is essential for making an informed decision. In every decision, the key consideration lies in assessing whether the benefits will surpass the concerns, taking into account your individual lifestyle and preferences.

What Conditions Provide Maximum Power For Solar Energy
Panels thrive when they directly face the sun, especially on sunny days with strong sunlight. Clear skies enable panels to generate the most energy, and cooler temperatures enhance efficiency. This synergy of conditions allows solar panels to harness maximum power from available sunlight.

Weather’s Influence on Solar Panels
Different weather conditions exert varying impacts on solar power generation efficiency. Rain, for example, temporarily diminishes the sunlight that reaches solar panels as water droplets scatter and absorb the light. Likewise, clouds hinder direct sunlight, leading to reduced panel output. While snow’s impact is less concerning in Hawaii, it can cover panels, necessitating regular clearing to ensure optimal energy production. Storms, despite panels’ resilient design, have the potential to disrupt alignment or cause damage. However, these challenges are met with the persistent power generation ability of solar panels, even on overcast or rainy days, albeit at lower rates, underscoring their reliability.

Amid weather-related challenges, modern solar panels exhibit impressive adaptability. REC panels, with their exceptional low light capabilities, remain a notable example. While rain and clouds may lead to slight energy production decreases, REC panels, equipped with advanced technology, continue generating power even in such conditions. This capacity ensures consistent power output, even during cloudy or rainy periods. Cloudy days, which obstruct direct sunlight, result in diminished panel output. However, panels like REC, specifically designed for low light scenarios, can still capture diffuse sunlight that filters through clouds, allowing them to produce a portion of their maximum capacity. This adaptability proves crucial in maintaining energy generation efficiency during less ideal weather, highlighting REC panels’ contribution to the reliability of solar energy solutions.

Benefits of Having Solar In Hawaii
Harnessing solar energy in Hawaii offers a multitude of advantages. Amid the occasional rainy days, Hawaii’s consistently sunny climate enhances its solar potential. This is especially notable when considering the difference in solar power generation between seasons. Unlike regions where days significantly lengthen or shorten with changing seasons, Hawaii experiences relatively minor fluctuations in daylight hours throughout the year. This means that the difference in available sun power between summer and winter is not as drastic as in other parts of the world.

Oahus Sun Zones

Notably, even the “worst solar spot” in Hawaii surpasses the energy output of many other regions. Infrequent extended periods of poor weather ensure that most days still provide ample sunlight for effective energy generation. This contrast becomes apparent when comparing the sun hour data between Hawaii’s winter and summer seasons and that of other regions. The various sun zones across Hawaii, including Leeward and Windward areas, showcase differing solar intensities, yet even the lower zones offer noteworthy power generation capabilities. 

In closing, navigating solar panel performance in adverse weather requires nuanced comprehension. With Independent’s 5 Step Process, we guide you in evaluating solar’s value tailored to your circumstances. Not every situation is identical, and while solar holds promise, it’s not universal. Making an informed decision acknowledges solar’s versatility, and our aim is to equip you with information and support to determine its suitability for you.

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Status: The program is capped at 50 megawatts (MW), as of right now we are at 6.2 MW.

  • Currently customers who are accepted into the program will receive $850 per kilowatt (kW).
  • After the first 15 MW is filled, the next 15 MW of committed capacity will receive $750 per kW.
  • After the next 15 MW is used the last 20 MW of committed capacity will receive $500 per kW.

Customers that are not currently enrolled in the company’s Net Energy Metering (NEM) Program will receive a fixed monthly bill credit for energy exported to the grid for three years. The credit is an amount equivalent to the respective retail rate for electricity exported during the two-hour period. After these three years are completed any underlying interconnection tariff export rates, if any, will apply.

Customers who wish to participate with an existing solar system and are presently enrolled in a customer energy program (such as Net Energy Metering, and Grid Supply or others) will continue to receive full benefits from these programs. Up to 5 kW of new panels may be added under existing programs. There is no limit on the size of an individual customer’s battery.

If you would like to add more than 5 kW of additional capacity of PV, it is possible as long as you still adhere to a 2:1 PV to battery output ratio. These apply to any interconnection tariff customers!


“We wholeheartedly recommend Independent Energy Hawaii for all your solar photovoltaic system needs. From our initial conversations with Desta to the final inspection with James, every interaction was extraordinarily positive. The team’s knowledge, honesty, and professionalism was exceptional. The whole process was done efficiently and reliably and we couldn’t be more appreciative. Every member of the team was professional, competent, and respectful in their dealings with us.”

– Sandy L


“Easily the most professional crew I ever had the pleasure of doing business with, and I never felt alone or in the dark thanks to Desta. He helped me with all my questions and I loved the fact that he was just a phone call away. Dedication to something like that is just hard to find nowadays. This company was a breath of fresh air for me and I wish I could do such an awesome crew justice with such a simple review. 10/10″

– Hank W


“Desta, Adam, Mike, Garrison and the rest of the Independent Energy Team are amazing. They were knowledgeable, responsive and helpful throughout our whole solar process. When issues came up (as they always do with projects), they went the extra mile to make sure everything worked properly.
Our panels and battery were installed on time as promised and are working great – just got our first ever $26 HECO bill!
This company cares about helping people and doing quality work, which is very rare these days. Hands down the best experience I’ve had with a company for home improvement/renovations. Highly recommend!”

– Matcha S.