Scottsbluff Community Solar facility at Landers Complex is back online

Scottsbluff Community Solar facility at Landers Complex is back online
File photo showing the damage to the solar panels at Landers Soccer Complex in Scottsbluff, now repaired and back in operation (KNEB/RRN)
January 5th, 2024 | News Release

The Scottsbluff Community Solar facility that was damaged in a June 2023 hailstorm has been repaired, re-commissioned, and returned to operation, with the damaged solar panels removed from the site to be recycled.

“The storm that rolled through the Scottsbluff area in June that contained softball and baseball size hail was exceptionally intense,” says Nebraska Public Power District General Manager of Retail Pat Hanrahan. “The process to replace the panels and get it back online in a timely manner to serve the customers of Scottsbluff, is thanks to strong partnerships with Sol Systems and GenPro.”

Sol Systems, the co-developer and asset manager of the 4.375-megawatt AC community solar array worked with the solar facility’s insurance provider and the engineering, procurement, and construction firm, GenPro Energy Solutions, to replace the damaged panels. GenPro co-developed and constructed the solar array in 2017 and holds the operations and maintenance contract for the facility.

GenPro, who has developed and built many community and municipal solar projects throughout Nebraska, used a 17-person crew to complete the reconstruction work, including 12 workers from Scottsbluff. “We were very impressed with the crew that helped rebuild the Scottsbluff project. Their hard work allowed us to get the system back online efficiently and without any safety instances,” said Jeremy Anderson, GenPro’s CCO.

Sol Systems is also working with the company SOLARCYCLE to recycle the damaged panels. SOLARCYCLE says their process for recycling panels can extract up to 95% of the value from a panel and supplies the recycled material to build new panels and support domestic supply chains for key minerals. SOLARCYCLE’s Odessa, Texas recycling facility is fully permitted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

SOLARCYCLE representatives say their process has prevented about 350 tons of material from going into local landfills, and the recycling effort will be able to recover about 16 tons of silver, silicon and other critical clean energy materials, as well as returning about 280 tons of glass and aluminum to the domestic supply chain.

“We at Sol Systems are deeply committed to the resilience and sustainability of solar energy infrastructure. It’s gratifying to see the Scottsbluff Community Solar facility come back online, providing a clean energy supply to the community. Through the SOLARCYCLE partnership, even damaged panels find purpose in recycling, embodying our dedication to environmental stewardship and a circular economy in renewable energy. We are proud to demonstrate that, even in the face of challenges, our approach remains environmentally conscious and community-focused,” said Eugene Rhee, Associate Vice President of Performance Engineering at Sol Systems.

NPPD has a power purchase agreement to buy the output from the solar facility, and NPPD customers who live in Scottsbluff can sign up for solar shares and receive a credit on their bill. Solar shares were paused while repairs were completed, and customers will start seeing a credit again on their bills for their December energy use.


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