Solaflect Solar Trackers Stand Up to Growing Weather Extremes

Coming on the heels of the warmest October on record, New England has already seen its first big Nor’Easter of the upcoming 2021-22 winter season.  This powerful storm left its mark across the nation, bringing wildfire-ending rains to California, and late-season tornadoes to the Midwest, before “bombing out” with gale-force winds and drenching rains as it reached the East Coast earlier this week.

This storm caused damage across the nation before “bombing out” as a Nor’Easter on Oct. 26-27.

Another powerful storm that reached Category 3 hurricane strength as it formed over the Pacific Ocean now is bringing us another round of stormy weather for this weekend.  These back-to-back storms are expected to produce widespread and possibly prolonged power outages.

The next big storm to reach our region packed the punch of a Category 3 hurricane when it formed over the Pacific earlier this week.

Northeast Now Leads in Power Outages

While the National Weather Service has labeled this weather as our “new normal,” there’s really nothing normal about it.  So far in 2021, a record 19 extreme weather events have caused at least a billion dollars in damage, prompting two-thirds of Americans to say they’re now convinced that our weather is getting more severe.  Nearly half of those asked say they’ve been through at least one extreme weather event in the last year.

Along with this growing weather threat comes a steep rise in extended power outages.  A recent analysis by Climate Central found that major power outages caused by extreme weather events have risen 67% since 2000, with the Northeast seeing the greatest increase in power outages over the last two decades.

In 2020 alone, the U.S. Department of Energy recorded 383 “electric disturbance events,” up from 150 in 2017.  Hurricanes, heatwaves, windstorms, wildfires and other extreme weather events were responsible for 43% of total outages in the U.S. last year.  And the trend is still accelerating.  In the first half of 2021, the number of major power outages rose to 210, 90 of which were weather-related.

Extreme weather is the largest source of power outages, and New England leads the nation in the frequency of these outages.

Solaflect Trackers Stand Up to Extreme Weather

Most residential solar systems that are grid-connected won’t provide power when the utility grid goes down.  That’s because solar power that flows back into the suspended grid might harm line crews as they try to fix it.

Fortunately, better solutions have arrived.  Home battery storage systems, which direct the flow of solar energy into batteries and provide backup power for critical home energy needs until the grid goes back on line, have become much more affordable.

Even better, our backyard Trackers are designed to handle whatever forces Mother Nature throws at them:

  • We start with an innovative design that uses suspension technology to replace over 1,000 pounds of steel I-Beams found in most ground-based designs.  The resulting structure is wind-tested to well over 100 mph, and the ‘smart machine’ technology stows the Tracker in a flat during higher wind periods to minimize long term wear and tear.

  • During winter snowstorms, our solar Tracker is already very steep, since the sun is so low on the horizon in winter, but it “sleeps” vertical at night, allowing snow to shed much more easily than fixed mount solar panels. Snow-free solar Tracker panels generate power — snow-covered rooftop arrays don’t.  In fact, rooftop solar panels lose up to 15% of their annual production due to snow accumulation vs snow-free Tracker solar panels.  That translates into $1,000’s of dollars of additional electricity over time.

So, with more extreme weather on the way, now is a good time make your move to backyard solar!  Solaflect is taking our last few installation orders for 2021 (yes, we’re installing within 4-6 weeks of contract).  And whether in 2021 or 2022, you’ll qualify for a federal 26% investment tax credit for solar.  Ditto if you add a home battery storage system!

Solaflect Energy is your home energy management partner.  We help you install clean and affordable solar electricity and home battery systems for a more resilient and climate-friendly future.  Contact us, or email, or call (802) 649-3700, or text (802) 308-3018.  Together, the power is in our hands to make a difference!

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