Damage to Projects
Hail generally causes damage to wind turbines over time, so the significance of any one
individual event is smaller. During a hailstorm, hailstones make contact with wind turbine blades,
which are made out of lightweight materials such as glass fibre and carbon fibre. While these impacts
are generally not immediately damaging, they usually create a more rapid natural weathering effect
that affects blade longevity.
Hail causes damage to wind turbine blades over time, however the impact to solar PV projects can be immediate and damaging. In 2016, a 4MW solar PV project in Texas was struck by 1.5inch-wide hailstones. The project suffered a complete loss. Despite only a third of the modules being physically damaged, the threat of micro-cracking meant that 100 percent of the modules had to be replaced*. This unseen damage can be extremely costly. In many cases, the cost of testing the capacity of the cells is similar if not more expensive, than the replacement cost.