Hurricane season is upon us, and the southeast is bracing for Hurricane Ian. Every year business owners throughout the Gulf and East Coast are dealing with added anxiety around the increased potential for damage to their solar arrays and buildings. The good news is that your solar array should have been designed and installed to withstand hurricane force winds. There are steps you should take in advance of major storms.
- De-Energize your solar array. If anything does come loose in the storm this can function as a safeguard from arcing once the sun does come back out. Your O&M company should be able to walk you through how to do this over the phone.
- As soon as it is safe, inspect the system, especially rooftop systems. You should look for the following:
- Loosened or overturned modules – inspect these areas for roof damage and contact your roofing company to apply temporary patching
- Moved cable tray or conduit
- Exposed wires
- If you observe any of the above, do not operate the system. You should contact your O&M company immediately.
In all instances, after major storms (hurricanes, tornados, high wind events) it is recommended to schedule your O&M company for a site visit to ensure the system is safe to operate. If there is sustained damage, your insurance company should get involved, take a lot of photo evidence, and always remember, solar modules are energized if they are exposed to the sun and should only be handled by industry professionals!
Our thoughts are with everyone in the path of Hurricane Ian, and we hope that this season is both safe and uneventful for all.