White Paper: Mitigating Extreme Weather Risk

PART 2: Surviving High-Wind Events and Dynamic-Wind Effects with Differentiated Solar Project Design and Control Strategies

By Alex Roedel, Director, Design and Engineering, and James Butcher, Senior Engineer, Nextracker, Inc.

Wind effects are the leading cause of weather-related damage to utility-scale solar plants. While wind hazards are inevitable, their impacts can be mitigated during project design with strategic product selection and specification.

Solar power plants that appear similar on the surface may have very different wind risk profiles due to differing technological features and capabilities. To reduce wind-related perils, project stakeholders must understand the factors that account for these very different outcomes under identical weather conditions.

A new white paper, the final installment in Nextracker’s two-part “Mitigating Extreme Weather Risk” series, provides more actionable content for insurers, financiers, developers, asset owners and EPCs to assess and mitigate wind hazard risks to solar power plants.

Topics covered in the paper include:

  • Wind load analysis methodologies (dynamic wind effects, beyond-minimum standards, etc.)
  • Tracker design qualification (tracker architecture, stow geometry, etc.)
  • PV module-specific risks (large-format modules, microcracking)
  • Manufacturer-specific risks (quality management, etc.)
  • Insuring investment returns