Storm Damages to Solar Farms and the Environmental Impact not being talked about by the media and your local government

North Carolina - Hurricane Florence

The booming solar industry is about to face its first major durability test with Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm that is expected to hit the Carolina coast by late Thursday.

Fueled in large part by government mandates and lucrative subsidies, the U.S. solar industry has experienced unprecedented growth in the last few years. At the epicenter of this expansion is North Carolina, a state that now ranks second in the nation in terms of its electric solar capacity, according to the Energy Information Administration. North Carolina in 2016 reached a total installed solar capacity of 3,288 megawatts — much of which sits in Hurricane Florence’s path.

A major hurricane has not hit the Carolina coast since the solar boom began in 2014. Florence, which is expected to cause as much as $30 billion in damages, will put the new solar installations to the test.

“Absolutely,” Tom Werner, the chief executive officer of SunPower, stated to Bloomberg, describing his concern for the situation. “If the panels were vertical to the ground, it would be like a sail to the wind. That would be the worst case.”

Intense storms have damaged utility-scale solar in the past. Chemicals within solar panels, such as cadmium and lead, can become to the local environment if water washes it into the ground

Hurricane Irma, for example, destroyed a solar farm in St. Thomas, an island in the Virgin Islands, in September 2017. About a month later, Puerto Rico’s second largest solar farm lost a majority of its panels when Hurricane Maria touched down, dealing a heavy blow to the island’s solar industry. . (RELATED: Should People Be Worried About A Nuclear Plant Standing In Hurricane Florence’s Path?)

Solar leaders are currently preparing for the worst, however. Hurricane Florence was carrying 130 mph winds as of Wednesday. The newer solar panels in its path can reportedly withstand winds up to 140-160 mph, enabling them to tolerate the hurricane’s strength.

Furthermore, companies are changing the angle of solar power trackers — devices that allow panels to turn throughout the day and consistently face the sun — so they would be least impacted by winds.

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St Thomas - Hurricane Irma
Palm Beach FL - Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma knocked out electricity to millions of Floridians, as well as people in Georgia, Alabama and the Carolinas last week. At the outage peak on Sept. 11, 7.8 million utility customers were in the dark.

What about those with solar systems on their homes? Were they also without power?

After Hurricane Irma: Would underground lines keep lights on in storm?

Yes. The vast majority of solar systems are what’s known as “grid-tied.” If the power goes out, the photo-voltaic system automatically disconnects. If the grid has no power, the solar system has no power, experts say.

Even if the sun is shining, the panels will not generate power.

Alissa Jean Schafer, solar communications and policy manager at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, explained in a recent blog that the standard, grid-connected solar system cannot necessarily be counted on to replace the power grid if you are without power after a storm.

From Wilma to Irma: Assessing FPL’s post-storm grid, restoration effort

“If the grid goes down, your solar panels are ‘down’ as well, not providing any electricity to you. If you’re not sure what kind you have, they are probably connected to the grid,” Schafer wrote.

“The biggest reason for this shutdown is safety. As soon as possible after the grid goes down in a hurricane or tropical storm, power companies get to work trying to bring it back on, that means hundreds, or even thousands, of workers and emergency response teams are performing hands on work on power lines in affected areas. If residential solar panel systems are connected to the grid and generating power, this poses an electric shock risk to any worker. Incorrectly connected generators pose the same risk and come with warnings not to connect to the grid,” Schafer said.

If you have a rare off-grid system, complete with a battery back-up, then it would work, Schafer said.

Of course, even when the grid is working fine, solar systems only produce power when the sun is shining.

 
SO MANY REASONS WHY SOLAR FARMS DO NOT BELONG ON LONG ISLAND ESPECIALLY THE EAST END!
 
 

STOP THE SOLAR FARMS NOW!

VOTE ALL THOSE POLITICIANS
THAT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN OUT!

SAVE OUR GREEN SPACES!

FOLLOW THE MONEY TRAIL TO SEE WHICH POLITICIANS AND LAWYERS ARE BENEFITTING THE MOST

SAVE OUR WILDLIFE AND WATER BASIN!

THESE PEOPLE SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THIS LAND GRAB