New Solar Technology That Can Withstand 180 MPH Hurricane Winds (Higher Than A Cat 5)

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Solar FlexRack’s Fixed Tilt FlexRack Series G3-X is fully operational for Azimuth Energy’s 1.1 megawatt solar project in the Bahamas. The microgrid includes the largest PV array operating in the Bahamas to date and was designed to withstand up to 180 mile-per-hour winds while providing reliable power in the face of increasingly severe hurricanes.

A category 5 storm has sustained winds of 157 mph or more, according to the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

The microgrid also includes a 2 MWh battery plant that enables all resort generators to be turned off for the first time in 50 years. This will result in cleaner air and large savings for up to 100 residents and guests of the resort at any given time.

Azimuth Energy chose Solar FlexRack’s G3-X mounting solution for its ability to withstand very high winds as well as for its adaptability, corrosion resistance, and speedy installation time.

Specs of the G3-X

The G3-X has a four-posts-per-table design, protection from heavy corrosion, and allows PV models to be individually bolted instead of being top clamped. This allows for maximum hurricane survivability. Marc Lopata, President and CEO of Azimuth Energy, shared some thoughts on the G3-X.

“We have used Solar FlexRack for dozens of projects, and we are able to install their G3-X system quickly and consistently to safeguard PV modules and our client’s investment during drastic weather events,” he said. “Solar FlexRack’s responsive customer service and project support are key in our product selection process.”

Azimuth Energy, which is a co-author of RMI’s Solar Under Storm, a manual on best practices on hurricane resilience, has provided hurricane consulting for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The company has a long track record that demonstrates its expertise in building resilience into microgrid systems.

Steve Daniel, EVP of Sales and Marketing at Solar FlexRack, shared a statement about working with Azimuth Energy. “We were honored to have had the opportunity to work alongside Azimuth Energy on this impactful project,” he said. “Azimuth Energy is one of the industry leaders in designing and constructing long-lasting, robust solar plus storage microgrids, particularly in remote regions most vulnerable to increasingly severe hurricanes.”

Prior to the installation, the resort was using generators that operated day and night without stopping. Thanks to the microgrid, around two-thirds of the island’s diesel fuel consumption will be eliminated and save 1,800 metric tons of carbon emissions per year. Once the system has paid for itself, the island owners will continue to save over $700,000 a year thanks to lower operating costs.

Chris Wilson, President of Bahamas Energy and Solar Supplies said, This project has demonstrated that it’s possible to provide environmental benefits and long-term savings through solar-plus-storage microgrids built even in the most severe climates.”

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Johnna Crider

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