After the most dangerous and damaging hurricane ‘Florence’ hit the North Carolina, the state is slowly coming back to normal life where 98% of people received electricity through the solar power. according to reports, the state also hosts the 2nd-largest capacity of solar at 4.5 GW of any US state after California.
Charlotte-based Duke Energy owns over the 2/3 of the service area of utilities and rest are handled by other companies. The company estimated that up to 1 GW-AC of the roughly 3 GW-AC of solar in its service area was offline at the peak of the storm and that 700 MW is not available yet. The company spokesperson, Randy Wheeless explained that near the coastal counties of the state, a lot of solar is available.
Duke owns total 35 PV plants, and three among these are offline yet, totalling 101 MW-AC. These three are in counties that are either on the coast or very near to it. The 60 MW Monroe plant additionally in Union County had over a dozen panels damaged due to strong winds but is now online. Around 1.6 million, out of the 1.7 million customers who lost power in its service area received power. However, a large number of downed power lines are yet to be functioned.
Many solar facilities have no grid facilities and some of them even have no power to access. operations and maintenance provider, NEX Tracker reported that 17 among their 18 plants in the region are back online. According to them, the key feature that has allowed plants using its tracking system to get back online is the design of its trackers, where all of the key components including controllers are located high on piers. Around 63% of its sites have online communications.
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