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Sponsored by 21 By Margery Conner T he size of solar-power installations is shifting away from the multimegawatt solar farms of 10 to 20 years ago toward smaller installations of 1 MW or less. Factors driving this trend include utilities' increasing use of residential and industrial rooftops as localized solar-power-generating stations, thus reduc- ing the need for conventional power plants, and the emergence of solar-PPA (power-purchase- agreement) companies, which install rooftop solar panels on homes and small businesses in exchange for access to the generated power (Reference 1). Small installations differ in some ways from massive solar farms. For example, solar-farm panels all face in the same direction and general- ly experience the same amount of sunlight. They typically encounter no obstacles, such as trees or Microinverters and power optimizers: migrates down to the PV panel Power conversion

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