Solar Panels VS Snow

solar under snow

Welcome back to the second part of our Winter Solar Series! If you missed last week’s post, we discussed how the cold affects solar panel production. (Spoiler: The cold is actually a good thing!) Check out that post here if you haven’t already.

Heavy Snowfall

So now that we know that the cold actually benefits solar production, what about snow? Can solar panels produce energy under heavy snowfall? The quick and simple answer to this question is, unfortunately, no. Solar panels require sunlight to be able to produce energy and when your panels are blocked, your solar panels cannot generate electricity. However, while snow can prevent your solar panels from producing energy, there are a few reasons why you don’t actually have to worry about it:

  • Since solar panels are installed at an angle, some of the snow will slide right off.
  • Snow that are on your panels will melt faster than snow on the rest of your roof.
  • Solar panels are made with high quality, durable material and snow accumulation is very unlikely to cause any damage or any other issues so you don’t have to worry about cleaning them off. 
  • With the help of Net Metering, lower energy production during the winter months can be offset in the summer time (and the rest of the year) when energy production is at its highest.


So are solar panels still worth having during heavy snowfall?
While snow coverage does lower the amount of energy your panels produce in the winter time, it doesn’t prevent your panels from producing energy completely. Additionally,  you can easily make up for the lost production by producing excess energy in the summer. This is made possible with the government incentive of Net Metering. We will be diving into further detail about Net Metering in next week’s topic: Solar Production in the Dark.

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