Solar Versus Hurricane Florence: Things Are Looking Bright for Renewables

Hurricane Florence was a huge disaster, but one popular form of renewable energy is proving it won’t stand down – solar. Solar power is proving its resiliency.


There is no question power is becoming a household name. And we all saw either first hand or on the news how much devastation has caused. Those living in the have been attempting to get life back to normal after going through the wettest tropical cyclone to be recorded. Coal-ash fields have flooded, homes have been damaged, and some have been injured severely – or worse. Interestingly enough, solar installations were (mostly) able to survive without much damage.

Sun Power Holds Strong

Duke ’s 40 solar power sites, prior to the storm hitting, were de-energized so they would sustain minimal damage from the wind. These solar power installations were set up horizontally. After Hurricane Florence passed, these installations started to produce power once again.

Solar rooftop installations did well, too. Out of 800 Yes Solar Solutions customers, just six reported having a system problem. In the Carolinas, modern renewables such as solar power make up just a small amount of the total electricity utilized. At the time of this writing, one of Duke Energy’s nuclear plants is still offline. It can’t be accessed due to flooding. Coal-ash field flooding is anticipated to cause environmental concerns, too.

Modern renewables are proving resilient in harsh weather conditions. That being said, if the roof of a home powered by solar were to come off, obviously the would be destroyed, too. During Hurricane Harvey, wind farms were operating again rather quickly. And after Hurricane Maria, many turned to solar in preparation of the next storm. Often, rooftop solar panels are made to withstand winds of up to 90 mph.

Non-hydro renewables (renewables derived from the sun or heat produced from within the earth) do not make up a big portion of power in the Carolinas, but in other places, they provide just under 20 percent of electricity (in Texas, for example). This is in accordance with the .

Solar Can Save Lives

A power outage due to severe weather, such as a hurricane, can be extremely dangerous. In some cases, it can be deadly. But if solar continues to prove its resiliency, perhaps it could be used to help people. What happens if you have a medical condition and are completely without power? There are no lights, no heat, no air conditioning – solar power could be used to make a huge difference. Emergency responders have installed solar in some situations. Tesla made a donation in when people were dying because of the lack of power. Solar panels were installed at a San Juan children’s hospital thanks to Tesla, as many don’t have the resources to go green on their own.

Unfortunately, many places, to include Puerto Rico, have a long way to go before knowing the image solar companies have for a self-sufficient solar market. This is because there are legal obstacles, as well as a very unfortunate lack of federal assistance.

Many arguments against solar simply do not make total sense. Because wind and solar are intermittent sources of energy (meaning, you don’t always have sunshine), many criticize it. However, after hurricanes, solar power is proving to be reliable. According to Inside Climate News, huge solar farms and rooftop solar have stayed intact following Hurricane Florence. And the truth is, even without storage technology, the intermittency of PV is managed effectively. This is because solar is predictable even if it is intermittent, and the patterns of solar are foreseeable. There is a very high accuracy when it comes to anticipating solar resources on an hour-ahead basis as per Renewable Energy World. The point is that there is a solution to common concerns.

When it comes to solar power, it is proving to be resilient, even in the face of major hurricanes such as Hurricane Florence. Continue to follow solar news to stay in the know, as solar continues to prove its strength and resilience. Has solar power ever been used in your community after severe weather? If you look around your neighborhood, you might notice PV panels going up. It’s certainly worth thinking about why this is the case.





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