Do Solar Panels Harm Wildlife?

do solar panels harm wildlife

Do solar panels harm wildlife?

Switching to solar energy is supposed to be helpful to the environment, right? So what’s really going on with residential and commercial solar, do solar panels actually harm wildlife?

Rest assured, you residential solar system is not going to hurt the environment.

Residential solar panels do not harm wildlife when installed properly. Some large-scale solar plants have caused disruptions in the surrounding ecosystems because of the heat produced by the panels, the increased fire risk, and in some cases the water usage. More testing still needs to be done in order to determine the full long-term effect that these plants might have on wildlife.

How can commercial solar plants potentially harm wildlife?

One of the most obvious reasons these plants can cause harm to wildlife is simply due to the fact that in order to create the space to build the plant, some of the ecosystem will be cleared—leaving the resident animals to find a new place to live.

do solar panels harm wildlife

Other factors that could be possibly damaging to the wildlife are noise and light pollution, fire risk, and water consumption. (pollutant spills, electromagnetic field energy field flows)

However, compared to nuclear plants which produce radioactive waste, these potential impacts seem pretty manageable!

Do my residential panels harm wildlife?

Residential solar does not pose any major threat to wildlife. If you live in an area where there are small animals around your house including birds, squirrels, raccoons etc., and depending on the design of your system, it’s possible that these critters might try to burrow under your panels. However, this probably poses more of a problem for you than it does the critters!


You will likely have an option when installing your solar system to have a “critter guard” installed to make sure that no small animals try to help themselves to your panels as their new home. This will keep them safe from getting stuck etc., and it will help to keep the wiring of your system intact and your panels clean for longer!

Is the disposal of solar panels bad for the environment?

We are making leaps and bounds every year with how we recycle the materials (aluminum, silicon, copper.) It’s not a perfect system yet! But considering your panels will be on your roof for the next 30-50 years, it’s highly probable that by the time your panels are ready to be disposed of we’ll have a much more efficient system to recycle them.

Does It Matter If Solar Panels Are Horizontal Or Vertical?

When you take the plunge and decide to have solar panels installed on your roof, it’s a big decision! Of course you want to be sure that everything is done the right way and that you’re going to be happy with the way your house looks with the system.

You’ve probably seen some solar systems where the panels are installed in vertical orientation, and others in a horizontal orientation. This might leave you wondering, why are they different and does it matter if solar panels are horizontal or vertical?

The orientation of your solar panels doesn’t affect the production of your system. In the US, panels are generally installed vertically by default unless you have a flat roof which better allows for horizontal panels since they won’t protrude as much.

Let’s dive a little deeper to think about why your solar panel orientation may have been chosen for your home, and why other systems have their own design.

Why are your panels installed in a vertical (portrait) orientation?

  1. Solar panels are mounted to the rafters on your roof using “rails.” Since panels are not as wide as they are tall, it takes fewer rails to install the panels in a vertical orientation than in a horizontal orientation. Less railing means less overall cost!
  2. The slant and size of your roof allow the panels to fit more efficiently with a vertical orientation.
  3. This tends to be the default orientation for many solar installation companies.
new mexico solar panels installed in a vertical orientation

Why are your panels installed in a horizontal (landscape) orientation?

  1. You have a flat roof or a roof slanted in a way that if the panels were oriented vertically they would stick up higher than is ideal at their 10-40 degree tilt.
  2. You live in a place where that is the aesthetic norm.
  3. Due to the sun exposure on your roof, a horizontal orientation will be exposed to more light throughout the day and therefore provide you with more energy.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if your solar panels are horizontal or vertical. Your solar system was likely designed to best fit your individual needs and preferences! So, if you’re not happy with the orientation of your panels for any reason, you should talk to your contact with the solar company to find out if they can work with you!

Just keep in mind that the most important thing about your new solar system is that it’s able to do its job in providing your home with energy. So in some cases, changing the recommended orientation of the panels may not be in your best interest.

Solar Works Energy wins Panasonic’s Regional Installer of the Year

Panasonic Corporation of North America today announced the Customer Appreciation Awards celebrating its recipients for 2020, and Solar Works energy has taken home some hardware!

The awards program recognizes high-performing installers for solar panel installation and exemplary customer service. New for 2020, the Customer Appreciation Awards also celebrate EverVolt battery installers, whose hard work and commitment has led to an extraordinary year of growth and success in the residential battery storage category.

Panasonic Elite, Premium and Authorized solar panel installers, and EverVolt Certified battery storage installers, are recognized in several award categories across each region: Installer of the Year, which recognizes installers who work on both commercial and residential installations,  Residential Installer of the Year, Commercial Installer of the Year, Fastest Growing Installer and Fastest Growing EverVolt ESS Installer.

“This has been an extremely difficult year for companies of all sizes, but it has been an unquestionably challenging time for small businesses,” said Mukesh Sethi, Director, Solar and Energy Storage, Panasonic Life Solutions Company of America, a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America. “We are incredibly thankful to Panasonic’s Elite, Premium, Authorized and EverVolt Certified installers for their fortitude and commend their resilience. It is an honor to recognize our top performers and those installers whose achievements surpassed every expectation in 2020.”

See the full list of winners here:

Why Wait?

Why should you consider making the switch to solar power today?

Let’s ignore for a second the benefits to our environment that switching to solar provides (some estimate that switching to a 5 kWh electric array can offset the deforestation of over 100 trees per year!) and instead focus in on the bottom line of switching – the MONEY. With high quality solar systems costing New Mexico homeowners an average of about $20,000, it’s important to understand the options available to you for financing such a large expense. Fortunately, in New Mexico, you have options. If you have the money to buy a system outright, that’s great! You’ll end up making the money you spent back in an average of 10 years, and afterwards you never pay another bill for electricity again. The savings just keep piling up after that. For the rest of those who don’t have $20,000 lying around but who still want to reap the rewards from solar panels, the best option is a solar loan.

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Tesla Solar Panels vs. The Other Guys

Addressing a common concern for solar customers

We occasionally hear from those interested in switching to solar that certain name brands are on their mind. These people usually express that they want to look into such headliners as Tesla. Of course, having the trendy Tesla logo somewhere on your solar panels might be what some people want. What some might not realize, however, is that paying for such a brand comes with an added cost cost. According to recent research from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), large installers like SolarCity (Tesla’s solar panel manufacturer and installer), usually price their products at a premium of about 15% over local installers like us at Solar Works Energy.

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Solar Owner Feature: The Taylors

When it comes to owning a home, there are many expenses that have to be considered. It isn’t surprising that with the rise of electricity many people are switching to solar across the country. In New Mexico, alone there was a 7% increase for electricity September 2016 – and that number is projected to grow even more!

This was the exact motivation that lead Joan and James Taylor to switch to solar, February 2017.

The Taylors have owned their adobe styled home in Rio Rancho for over 15 years. Each month, they were spending about $150 to power their home through PNM, sometimes reaching bills as high as $300! It may not seem like much, but that’s nearly $2,000 a year. Here at Solar Works Energy, we know that you can save A LOT and your hard earned money can be spent better!

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Ready to find out how much you can save?