If you thought solar panels were only useful during warm seasons. think again. Hi, I’m Greg O’Brien with the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative. For many parts of the country, winter means snow, some areas already experiencing its first bouts. And while it may not sound like snow and solar go together, turns out they do. Thanks to DOE’s SunShot Initiative funding, regional test centers throughout the United States find that photovoltaic panels, which converts solar radiation into energy, successfully generate electricity and snow and other severe conditions. In fact, because most panels tilt at an angle, light snow has little impact on them at all because the snow just slides right off. Even though heavy still can limit the amount of energy panels produce, sunlight is still able to move through the snow and generate electricity. Snow can be a problem for solar panels when it’s heavy snow that accumulates, which can put stress on the support structures. Thankfully, researchers are exploring ways to make panels more sturdy and cost-effective. SunShot has recently launched DuraMat, which is a durable module materials consortium, led out of NREL with three other national labs, that is working to rapidly accelerate the deployment and development of new module materials and architectures. Part of that goes into being able to improve performance in extreme climates and extreme conditions. Something else cool to note, snow makes an excellent panel cleaner. As snow melts away, it takes dirt with it, allowing panels to reach higher effeciencies. For more information on solar panels, visit energy.gov.