Hail events have historically posed a significant risk to utility solar projects, with the weather causing up to $100 million in damage to large facilities in US states such as Texas.
As the utility-scale solar market experiences robust multi-gigawatt development activity in America’s core states, insurers are now requiring solar developers to demonstrate mitigation strategies and protocols for severe hail and extreme weather in the new solar states.
Recent pv-lehti USA webinar showed that mitigating the risk of hail is a common problem in “Hail Alley,” a vast area spanning about six states from the Dakotas to Texas that often experiences five or more days of catastrophic hail per year. Climate change has created anomalies, with more extreme weather events occurring in areas bordering on hailstones.
Hail events have historically posed a significant risk to solar, with weather conditions causing up to $100 million in module damage at large projects in states like Texas, where baseball-sized hailstones can hit sky-facing modules.
Indji Systems, a Los Angeles-based meteorological software company, has just released Indji Watch, a hail detection software platform for solar developers. It allows end users to see and track hail using a predictive, real-time data framework. With the help of the software system, stakeholders can implement effective defense measures and secure their investments in the long term.
Indji Watch automatically detects early threats and delivers notifications through its dashboard. By providing updates from potential hail threats to storm impacts, the weather watch allows companies to actively prepare for significant events, which promotes cooperation and coordinated decision-making. By prioritizing “early awareness”, Indji Systems can help reduce risk by protecting solar areas.
Indji Watch identifies storm paths and their proximity to solar footprints when threats are imminent, allowing customers to take protective measures. The warning gives solar O&M and on-site operators time to “stack up”. A term used to point solar panels away from oncoming hail to reduce the direct impact and possible damage to the crystal panels.
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