HARRISONBURG, Va (WHSV) — Off-the-grid solar power was restored in North Carolina just one day after Hurricane Florence hit, showing what the future of renewable energy could look like.
A local solar company says the more we move towards solar power and renewable energy, the better we will be able to combat the impacts from natural disasters.
Sam Hopkins, branch manager of Paradise Energy Solutions in Harrisonburg, says most solar panels are built to withstand golf ball sized hail and 60 mile per hour winds and permits only allow them to be built in places where they will be able to withstand the weather.
"If the hail is beating down the solar or the wind is blowing it away, your house is going with it," Hopkins said. "You take a look at it and you think it's just a glass panel I'm sure that's pretty fragile, but it can take quite a beating."
While solar panels that rely on the grid will still not have power if the power goes out, solar panels with battery back up systems will have power. Hopkins says the problem is that battery back up is still very expensive.
As more research is done to make the batteries more efficient, and more people purchase these systems, Hopkins says the cost will come down.
Hopkins says it's exciting to think about the future when we could all rely solely on solar power for our energy.