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Distributed Energy Resources

Nebraska Community Solar Facility Back Online After Hailstorm Repairs

A community solar facility that was damaged in a June 2023 hailstorm has been repaired, re-commissioned, and returned to operation, with the damaged solar panels removed from the site to be recycled, the Nebraska Public Power District reported on Jan. 8.

Sol Systems, the co-developer and asset manager of the 4.375-megawatt AC community solar array in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, worked with the solar facility’s insurance provider and the engineering, procurement, and construction firm, GenPro Energy Solutions, to replace the damaged panels.

GenPro co-developed and constructed the solar array in 2017 and holds the operations and maintenance contract for the facility.

GenPro used a 17-person crew to complete the reconstruction work, including 12 workers from Scottsbluff.

Sol Systems is also working with the company SOLARCYCLE to recycle the damaged panels. SOLARCYCLE says their process for recycling panels can extract up to 95% of the value from a panel and supplies the recycled material to build new panels and support domestic supply chains for key minerals.

NPPD has a power purchase agreement to buy the output from the solar facility, and NPPD customers who live in Scottsbluff can sign up for solar shares and receive a credit on their bill.

Solar shares were paused while repairs were completed, and customers will start seeing a credit again on their bills for their December energy use.