How a solar cell (photovoltaic) functions
Sunspot and solar activity closeup

Why New Mexico is so rich in solar energy potential

It seems obvious enough that lots of sunshine equals a great place for solar photovoltaic systems. But more than strong sunlight is necessary to complete the equation. New Mexico has some of the greatest features for electricity production from photovoltaic panels. We enjoy long days, straight sun angles, cloudless skies, cooler temperatures, and few sources of shade.

Solar energy is just a natural fit for New Mexico and especially Las Cruces.


Major components of a photovoltaic (solar electricity) system:

  • Photovoltaic Panels convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity. A number of panels are connected together in strings to achieve the desired power for the system.
  • Photovoltaic Inverter receives the DC electricity from the photovoltaic panels and inverts it creating alternating current (AC) electricity that is suitable both in power level and type to power your home and distribute excess electricity back on to the power grid.
  • Photovoltaic micro-inverter functions as described above but they are small units designed to be paired with each solar panel to enable each solar panel to operate independently from its neighbor. Micro-inverters make It possible to monitor the health and production of each solar panel.
  • Deep Cycle Batteries are used to supply electricity when the grid is blacked out or for independent, stand-alone power systems. Our Lighthouse and Independence systems use batteries.
  • Battery Inverter/Charger receives the DC electricity from the batteries and inverts it creating AC electricity that is suitable both in power level and type to power your home. It also converts electricity supplied by the photovoltaic Inverter or the Power Grid to DC and uses that to charge the batteries.
  • Power Grid is the nationwide interconnection of power generating stations that is currently supplying electricity to your home.

courtesy of NREL