A violent hail storm in western Nebraska destroyed the panels of an entire solar farm, forcing the nearby community of Scottsbluff to return to traditional power sources, local officials said.
Cowboy State Daily was the first to report the destruction of the solar farm by hail coming down at a velocity of 150 miles per hour.
The Community Solar Project, a 4.4 megawatt solar field made up of 14,000 solar panels, is not currently operating and will remain offline until repairs are completed, the Nebraska Public Power District confirmed to Fox News Digital. The state-owned public utility and energy firm GenPro Energy Solutions developed the solar project just three years ago.
“The solar complex was destroyed by hail,” Scottsbluff City Manager Kevin Spencer said to news reporters. “They’re assessing the damage, but it certainly looks destroyed to me.”
“I don’t think we’re ready to give up on solar power,” he said. “It was our understanding that these solar panels were at least hail resistant. This hail was extreme, you know, the size and probably the speed of it. So, I don’t know that we would give up on it just yet.”
Read about the violent storm’s damage that also involved a tornado that destroyed one home, at Cowboy State Daily.
Scottsbluff is has a population of 14,400 and is located in the western part of Nebraska, in what’s known as the Nebraska Panhandle.