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Solar’s Remarkable Survival in the Most Extreme Weather

  As the Atlantic continues to churn out some of the deadliest storms on record, the repercussions continue to rock the South and southeastern U.S. Whether it is the physical impact of the recent storms on solar projects or the economic impact throughout energy markets, how do these events affect the solar industry, and to what extent? Braving the Elements When storms of the magnitude we’ve seen this summer approach operating solar assets, there are many measures taken to prepare for the oncoming weather. Strong winds, especially those found in Category 3-5 hurricanes, can pose one of the greatest environmental threats to solar energy systems. Systems are given ratings based on their wind resistance, which vary based on local building codes (systems in Florida, for instance, can generally withstand 140+ mph winds). While fixed-tilt arrays are forced to brave strong winds in their set orientation, modules on trackers can either be set flat or on an angle with the wind that enables them to minimize potential uplift forces. While preparing for a potential storm, care should also be taken to remove any loose debris, as these items can shatter the front glass of…