Thursday, July 18, 2024

Presumed lightning strike knocks out Shelby photo voltaic array


SHELBY – A suspected lightning strike has precipitated the Shelby photo voltaic array to be shut down for unscheduled upkeep.

The incident was reported when the town’s Utilities and Streets Committee met on June 14.

At-Large Councilman Steven McLaughlin shared data throughout his report back to the Shelby City Council on the June 17 assembly.

“It (photo voltaic array) is down for unscheduled upkeep at this level,” he mentioned. “The system transformer has been compromised as a result of a suspected lightning strike.”

McLaughlin mentioned AEP OnSite Partners owns, operates and maintains the solar energy subject. The photo voltaic array consists of almost 7,000 370-watt photovoltaic panels, which convert gentle into vitality and supply advantages throughout peak energy occasions.

AEP is searching for a alternative transformer – estimated to price round $100,000, in line with the councilor, including the undertaking’s lead time is about 12 weeks.

“We are scheduled to be again in service(s) in late September,” McLaughlin mentioned.

Additionally, Shelby Mayor Steve Schag informed council members that the brand new photo voltaic array transformer shall be paid for by AEP OnSite Partners and never the town.

At-Large Councilman Steven McLaughlin. Richland Source file picture. Credit: Hayden Gray

The photo voltaic array supplies 4 % of the town’s electrical energy wants

According to McLaughlin, the 14-acre solar energy subject provides Shelby with roughly 4 % of the town’s electrical energy wants.

Since its inception, the photo voltaic array has generated $492,000 in transmission and capability financial savings. McLaughlin mentioned the financial savings start in 2021 and common roughly $123,000 per yr.

“It (photo voltaic) is the most cost effective type of vitality within the metropolis,” he mentioned.

Construction of the photo voltaic subject, situated on State Street, started in late September 2019.

First bolstered on December 28, 2019, the system formally began working the subsequent day. The panels are programmed to rotate all through the day in order that they all the time face the solar.

The quantity of vitality generated by the panels varies primarily based on the obtainable daylight. Some powers are generated even on cloudy days, in line with the earlier one Source of Richland reporting.

Second part of renewable vitality tasks

In December 2023, the Shelby City Council accredited a collection of laws to proceed the second part of behind-the-meter renewable vitality tasks within the metropolis.

Three resolutions had been handed unanimously, getting into the town into an settlement with AEP OnSite Partners for a 10-megawatt battery vitality storage system.

John Ensman, the town’s director of utilities, mentioned in December that the undertaking would add to Shelby’s photo voltaic array.

“Both tasks will work collectively to assist Shelby’s vitality wants and most significantly, cut back transmission prices and energy capability within the metropolis,” Ensman mentioned earlier than Source of Richland.

He mentioned in December that the anticipated industrial operation date for the battery vitality system is January 2025.

Community funding makes this reporting attainable. Independent, native information in Shelby and Northern Richland County dropped at you partly by the beneficiant assist of Phillips Tube Group, RS Hanline, ArcelorMittal, Lloyd Rebar, Hess Industries, and Shelby Printing.

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