Solar Power’s Resiliency During Natural Disasters

Written by U.S.SolarEnergy

Between 2000 and 2021, weather-related events caused 83% of major blackouts in the United States. Home solar systems are an excellent way to protect you and your home from the risk of power losses in the face of hurricanes, wildfires, and heat waves.


When Hurricane Ian passed over the west coast of Florida with 100 mph winds, 90% of Charlotte County experienced blackouts. But one community, Babcock Ranch, never once lost power. The difference? The entire town is solar-powered. The community of 2,000 homes kept running water, electricity, and internet throughout the ordeal. The town was in such good shape that they turned their school into a shelter for other communities. Those with electric vehicles were able to move about freely despite interruptions to gasoline access caused by damage to gas stations.

Heat Waves

With more frequent and prolonged heat waves, the threat of temporary utility shutdowns has risen. However, when the grid went down in the Pacific Northwest because of unprecedented temperatures, the Oregon Military Department kept the electricity and air conditioning on thanks to their solar-powered microgrid. When similar weather caused rolling blackouts in Texas, wind and solar kept more than a third of the state online.

Fires and Drought

Homes in wildfire areas are often preemptively blacked out in order to lower the risk of fires sparked by weather-sensitive equipment. In 2019, Blue Lake Rancheria, a small Native American community in Humboldt County, California, served as a haven as wildfires swept through the area. Solar energy powered the community’s microgrid. They opened many of their buildings to local residents, and thousands found safe havens. The reservation hotel kept the lights on, turning into an impromptu hospital and providing vital energy that powered ventilators for at least eight patients.

Solar systems are subject to grueling resiliency tests, including wind, rain, extreme heat, and even hail at upwards of 240 mph. What are the only buildings and houses continuously powered through these outages during severe weather conditions? Those that are powered by solar. Installing a system on your roof provides sustainable energy and mitigates risks during extreme weather events, keeping you and your family safe when you need it most.