Does Solar Work in Cloudy Or Rainy Weather?

Clouds and rain are dominant features of the Pacific Northwest. Cloudy, drizzly days are part of what makes this area of the country as beautiful and wild as it is. Can solar panels produce electricity in cloudy and rainy conditions? The quick answer is yes. Solar does work in cloudy and rainy conditions.


Even though the sun is obscured by clouds, light is still able to filter through the clouds.

If you have ever been outside on a cloudy day and got a sunburn, you know this. The same is true for solar panels. Light can still filter through clouds to the solar panels. This allows the solar panels to continue working to produce electricity, even on a cloudy day.

Of course, solar energy production is decreased by cloud cover. Solar energy production can range from 25 to 10 percent of usual output on cloudy days.

The good news is that with net metering, you can make up for these cloudy days by overproducing energy on really sunny days.

Net metering allows you to earn energy credits for producing excess energy and pushing it onto the utility grid. These energy credits can then be applied towards future energy consumption when your solar panels aren’t producing enough power.

Net metering laws in Oregon are very generous, with the largest utilities providing a 1:1 match on energy credits. This means that for every 1kW you overproduce, you earn 1kW of energy credits for future use.

Learn more about net metering and its huge benefits for Oregon solar homeowners.


How about rain? How does rain affect solar production?

Solar panels can easily produce electricity when it is raining. The added benefit of rain is that it can clean dust, dirt, and bird droppings off solar panels. This increases efficiency and prevents you from having to clean them yourself.

And don’t worry about the electric components of solar being exposed to rain water. Solar panels and their components are water-tight and are regulated to ensure consumer safety in all weather conditions.

So, don’t fret, Oregon! Solar can work in cloudy and rainy conditions.

How much could you save by going solar? Contact Green Ridge Energy today to find out.


Estimate your total savings, payments, and total energy usage with our FREE solar calculator.