Thousands of Acres of Solar Panels Destroyed by Hail Storm

A devastating hailstorm recently struck a solar farm in Fort Bend County, Texas, leaving a trail of destruction and raising concerns among local residents.

Nick Kaminski, a nearby property owner, witnessed the storm’s fury firsthand, describing it as an “unimaginable” event that not only damaged his home but also shattered thousands of solar panels at the Fighting Jays Solar Farm in Guy.

SkyDrone13 captured the extent of the damage, revealing rows upon rows of panels riddled with holes, as if they had been blasted by a shotgun.

The sight was particularly alarming to Kaminski, who relies on well water for his daily needs. “That’s what we take a shower with, we drink with,” he said, expressing his fear that the damaged panels might have contaminated the water supply with potentially harmful chemicals.

According to experts, solar panels can be made from either silicon or cadmium telluride, with the latter being more commonly used in large solar farms due to its lower cost.

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The company’s website, however, does mention that insurance policies will cover damage caused by hailstorms.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirms that cadmium telluride, a toxic substance that can cause various health issues, is indeed found in some solar panels.

However, Ramamoorthy Ramesh, a physics professor at Rice University with extensive experience in solar panel research and development, reassured the public that the risk of contamination is minimal. “Even if I expose it, it has to get into the groundwater, which means water has to dissolve the cadmium telluride,” Ramesh explained, adding that the chemical does not readily dissolve in water.

In response to the incident, Fort Bend County officials dispatched HAZMAT crews to the area, who found no signs of contamination.

The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is also conducting an investigation, with an update expected in the near future.

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Despite these assurances, residents like Kaminski remain concerned about the potential impact on their families’ health and well-being