Photovoltaic means electricity from sunlight. Light from the sun strikes the solar panels causing a chemical reaction and creating a direct current flow of electricity. There is a direct correlation between the amount of sunlight shining on the panels and the amount of energy that is produced. The electricity produced by the solar panels is delivered to a solar inverter which helps the solar panels harvest the maximum amount of energy from the sun and then transforms that energy from direct current to alternating current. The electricity is then delivered to the loads in your home or building typically through the main electrical panel.
Solar PV systems can function in an off-grid capacity when there is no grid present, but most residential and commercial systems are configured to supplement the electrical grid service. The electricity provided by the solar PV system is generally on the customer side of the utility meter and is routed to power the circuit breaker panel as shown in this image:
This brief video shows how a solar photovoltaic (PV) panel converts the energy of the sun into renewable electricity to power homes and businesses: