PVM: Storm Season Has Solar Biz Nervous

I never heard about the 400,000 solar panels destroyed by one hail storm in Texas. I went searching for this story after I and a neighbor were discussing solar panel insurance today here in the Keys where we know a thing or two about wind storms destroying any and everything. His insurer of last resort will not cover any type solar panels, ground or roof mounted, in this area where Irma took one nearby hurricane resistant home with 200 MPH impract resistant windows and turn it all into rubble - including the windows which left a trail of the most beautiful little pellets of glass when the tornado insides Irma picked the whole house off its pilings.

In this story, it was hail which did the damage:

PV Magazine USA headline: Storm season has the solar industry looking to protect assets from costly hail damage

Sub-headline: The destructive potential of hail on solar arrays has only been fully realized in the last two years. In this series, pv magazine talks with experts in storm modeling, risk insurance, and damage mitigation to learn how solar arrays can survive nature’s wrath.



In May 2019, the solar industry was faced with a disaster unlike anything ever seen before, when a massive hailstorm passed through West Texas. In the path of the storm sat 174 Power Global’s 178 MW Midway Solar Project, bolted to the ground and pointed to the sky on 1,500 acres near Midland.

Once the storm had passed, the industry learned that it had left behind the largest weather-related single-project loss in its history. More than 400,000 of the plant’s 685,000 Hanwha Q cell modules were damaged or destroyed; insurance losses totaled $70 million, and most everyone involved endured at least a few sleepless nights.

The event served as a wake-up call to the industry. It completely reshaped how weather risks are modeled, how project owners and operators mitigate against potential damages, and how underwriters insure projects against natural disasters.