The Renewable Read | July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

Solar Power Industry Update 

Summary of Wildfire (Vegetation Management), Hail (Exposure), and Microcracking 

Throughout the past eight years, utility-scale solar power has grown substantially from installed gigawatts to market share. While exciting, this growth has included significant industry losses that have translated into lessons learned, including the following: 

  • Photo-voltaic (PV) panel microcracking due to various construction and operational causes  
  • Natural hazard exposures
    • Wildfire (may include vegetation management mitigation techniques) 
    • Hail (may include PV panel reinforcement and various stow mitigation techniques) 
    • Windstorm (may include PV panel and support structure reinforcement mitigation techniques) 
    • Flood (may include equipment elevation and moisture exposure mitigation techniques) 
    • Earthquake (may include traditional seismic mitigation techniques) 
  • Roof-mounted project exposures to underlying building and operational environments 
  • Ground-mounted project exposure to surrounding operational environment 
  • Inverter and transformer equipment breakdown and fire failures 

To help you manage these underlying risks, insurance carrier partners have developed underwriting terms and conditions and loss control suggestions for clients. Insurance carriers have also modified their positions over time to reflect the reality of the evolving solar power industry. 

Fortunately, solar power industry participants have proven adept at addressing each of these issues.  Additional lessons will be learned in the future, but Beecher Carlson will work with you to address these issues as they arise. 

Mark Mirek serves as a strategic advisor within the energy storage space. He draws upon his seven years of experience with utility scale energy storage systems. Mark currently serves as a voting member on the NFPA 855, the global asset protection standard for energy storage systems, technical committee. Mark is the only insurance broker representative on the committee. 

Mark Mirek has more than 25 years of industry experience in the traditional power, renewable energy, and utilities space. Mark joined the Beecher Carlson Energy practice in 2010 and currently serves as Senior Managing Director. He helped build the energy practice through providing technical thought leadership, critical engineering services, and insurance placement services.