Single Hail Storm Has Devastating Impact on Major Texas Solar Farm – Locals Concerned

Single Hail Storm Has Devastating Impact on Major Texas Solar Farm – Locals Concerned

Authoritarian climate crusaders most likely regard themselves as too enlightened, important and virtuous to heed cautionary tales about green energy. For everyone else, however, those tales remind us why we did not trust the crusaders in the first place.

According to ABC13 in Houston, a violent hailstorm on March 16 caused significant damage to the 3,300-acre Fighting Jays Solar Farm in Fort Bend County, Texas, prompting fears of possible leaking chemicals.

Local resident Nick Kaminski described the golf ball-sized hail, accompanied by heavy wind and rain.

“The hailstorm we experienced Saturday morning was unimaginable,” Kaminski said. “We’ve never seen anything like it in our lifetime.”

“They look like somebody took a shotgun and blasted it into the air and let the pellets fall down and shatter holes all in them,” he said.

But the storm’s aftermath could have proven even more dangerous.

In fact, Kaminski and Mikes Fugua, another local resident, told Houston’s Fox 26 that they feared the damage to the solar panels might have released dangerous chemicals into the water.

“My concern is the hail damage that came through and busted these panels we now have some highly toxic chemicals that could be potentially leaking into our water tables,” Kaminski said.

“There’s numerous makeup in the chemicals on this thing,” Fugua said. The majority of them are cancer-causing.”

Kaminski and Fugua said that even before the hailstorm, local officials and the farm’s owners had not responded to inquiries.

The potential danger stemmed from the composition of the solar panels. Most are made of compound cadmium telluride, per ABC13.

Home solar panels, made of silicon and more expensive, include no dangerous chemicals. But large solar farms often use the cheaper and more dangerous cadmium telluride panels.

That toxic substance can cause problems with the kidney, heart, skin and lungs.

So which panels did the Fighting Jays Solar Farm use?

Initial signs did not look promising.

For one thing, Kaminski and Fugua described the stonewalling they experienced when seeking answers.

Then, according to ABC13, a solar farm spokesperson “wouldn’t answer questions on the record.”

Finally, on Wednesday Fox News reported that the solar farm project developer’s parent company, Denmark-based Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, issued a statement on both the condition of the farm and the storm’s environmental impact.

“We are currently assessing the extent of the impact of the storm on the generation of the project, while the plant continues to safely operate at a reduced capacity,” the statement read.

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Most important of all, CIP’s statement confirmed that the “silicon-based panels contain no cadmium telluride and we have identified no risk to the local community or the environment.”

If true, no doubt that will come as a relief to Kaminiski, Fugua and other local residents.

As for the bigger picture, Emily Matthews, spokesperson for Republican Rep. Troy Nehls, of Texas, who represents the people living near the damaged solar farm, cited the hailstorm as evidence that we must pump the brakes on our headlong transition to green energy.

“Events like this underscore the importance of having an all-of-the-above energy approach to meet our energy needs and showcase how our country cannot solely rely on or fully transition to renewable energy sources like this,” Matthews said.

No one, of course, objects on principle to solar, wind or any other renewable energy source. In fact, we root for them and hope they succeed.

Objections begin when those energy sources’ most determined and arrogant advocates insist on treating them as a moral issue.

When that happens, environmental stewardship degenerates into a perverse fetish of the affluent. Those who live otherwise empty lives have convinced themselves that they have a planet to save. If that means the poor must sacrifice so the wealthy feel less guilt, then so be it.

For instance, a recent poll showed that a staggering percentage of U.S. elites favor authoritarian measures to fight climate change.

No wonder those elites overwhelmingly back President Joe Biden, who has called climate change “the only existential threat humanity faces.”

That sort of nonsense makes us welcome cautionary tales about green energy.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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