‘Avian incident’ knocks 84% of US solar farm off the grid

Only 40MW of Clearway Energy’s 250MW California Valley Solar Ranch remained operational after a bird caused a fire

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An ‘avian incident’ has knocked 84% of a US solar farm off the grid.

Only 40MW of Clearway Energy’s 250MW California Valley Solar Ranch remained operational after a bird caused a fire that damaged distribution cables and poles.

Despite panels themselves remaining undamaged, according a regulatory filing made by the owner, the affected area spanned 1,200 acres

Clearway Energy hasn’t confirmed exactly how the blaze was ignited at the San Luis Obispo County facility but it is expected to return to full service by the 1st of July.

The incident could cost a total of $9 million (£7m) after estimated insurance recovery.

According to Forbes, the company said: “We are pleased that in the aftermath of the fire at California Valley Solar Ranch, our team and first responders were able to ensure the safety of the surrounding community, our employees and fire officials.

“While fires remain an unfortunate and growing reality in California and across the west, incidents such as these give us continued confidence in our risk prevention and mitigation plans.”

A report published earlier this year suggests rising demand for solar panels is pushing up the price of silver around the world.

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