Monday, July 01, 2024

Extreme Hail Storms Are Wrecking Solar Farms—but Defending Them May Be Easier Than It Seems


When a baseball-sized hailstone slams into a solar panel at more than 90 mph, the result is not pretty.

We saw this in March, when a hailstorm decimated parts of the 350-MW Fighting Jays solar project in southeast Texas. Images circulated on social media and in news coverage of thousands of panels pockmarked with white circles of broken glass. Right-wing outlets were eager to amplify what they saw as evidence of the unreliability of solar power.

...First, let’s lay out the problem: Climate change is contributing to an increase in the severity of storms, including hailstorms.

At the same time, solar is the world’s fastest-growing electricity source, according to the International Energy Agency, and part of a mix of renewable sources that are on track to produce the majority of the world’s electricity by mid-century.

Right now, examples of hailstorms wrecking solar farms are rare enough that they’re still notable, like the one this year in southeast Texas and one last year in western Nebraska. But what about in 20 years, when hailstorms are likely going to be more severe and solar will cover much more ground?

There is no perfect method for protecting solar panels from hail, but there are ways to reduce the risk...more


1 comment:

Samuel said...

Solar is great stuff, so long as it make it on it's own.
Subsidies with my tax money and imposed higher electricity rates through mandated use are a crime,