Everything You Need to Know About Ground Mount Solar Panel Installation
If you’re looking into switching to clean and sustainable solar energy, ground mounts solar panel systems can be a fantastic option. They’re safer to install than roof-mounted systems and they also have a higher electrical output. However, they have their own drawbacks and concerns, so you’ll need to carefully consider if they are the right choice. Luckily, this guide will help you determine if ground mount solar panels are for you.
What are some considerations when installing ground-mounted solar?
Your site conditions
Since this type of solar system is mounted on the ground, you will need to consider the solar panels’ surrounding area in more depth. For instance, you will need to make sure that the site is spacious enough to accommodate your solar system, but you will also have to consider the shade levels of the yard and check if constructing a ground-mounted system will disrupt wildlife.
Your total cost and savings
Ground-mounted solar costs more to install than roof panels. Solar panels themselves already have a substantial upfront cost, and ground-mounted panels require a frame to be constructed to support them, and it can become expensive to build a new structure.
However, solar panels are an investment that will save you money in the long run. Not only are there incentives designed to partially offset the cost of solar panels, but you also will not have to pay for the electricity your panel’s output – because you’ll be getting it directly from the sun!
When it comes to ground-mounted solar panels, you’ll need to consider the savings, because these kinds of systems actually are more efficient than roof panels, so they can have an even higher return on investment.
Where you live has a few different effects on your solar panel system. For instance, your incentives for using solar power will vary depending on your state. This is important to know so that you can properly estimate the costs and benefits of installing a new system.
With a ground-mounted system, you will also need to consider local regulations and permit requirements. This type of solar panel system needs a structure to be erected to support it, and that means that you will need permission from your local municipality to proceed with building it. Also, Homeowners Associations sometimes have rules that forbid residents from using ground-mounted solar systems, so if you live in an HOA, you will need to check their rules, as well, to avoid fines.
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What are the pros and cons of ground-mounted solar panels?
They’re more efficient than roof-top panels.
Because they allow more freedom in positioning, ground-mounted solar panels are able to be placed at angles that maximize the amount of electricity provided.
They’re easier to install and maintain.
Working on rooftops can be dangerous and tricky. Ground-mounted solar panels avoid this entirely, making them simpler and safer to repair or put in place.
They don’t change the way your home looks.
Since ground-mounted solar panels are not installed directly on your house, they don’t alter its appearance. This can be an excellent option to consider, as some people don’t like the way their roof looks with solar panels.
They can be hidden.
If you don’t like the way solar panels look, you can angle your ground-mounted panels to have a low tilt. This does not dramatically affect the electrical output, but does allow the panels to blend in with their environment, and is not possible with roof-mounted panels.
They’re more expensive to install.
Although ground-mounted solar panels may still be worth it because they can provide you with more electricity than roof-mounted panels, they do cost more upfront. This is because the ground lacks the built-in structural base that a roof offers, and one must be constructed to support the panels.
They are more likely to become obscured by shade.
You can always relocate your ground-mounted panels to another area of your yard if you have the space. However, if you don’t, roof panels might have an edge, because their height means that they tend to be in less danger of becoming shaded by trees and foliage growth.
They’re more vulnerable.
Ground-mounted solar panels are more accessible, which makes them easier to install and work on. However, that also means that it is easier for other people to meddle with them, and makes it more likely that animals might harm them.
They’re not an option for everyone.
If you don’t have the yard space for them, then ground-mounted solar panels won’t be possible to install. This is the case for many people who live in urban or even suburban areas. Additionally, they can be harder to get approval and permits for and are frequently prohibited by Homeowners Associations.
Can you still get energy incentives and utility credits with a ground-mount solar panel system?
The short answer is yes. The government does not distinguish between solar panels that are installed on a roof or on the ground when offering utility credits and energy incentives.
If you switch to solar, you will be eligible for these benefits, even if you use a ground-mount solar panel system. However, the amount that you will save will vary depending on many factors, including your electrical usage and the state you live in.
Are there different types of ground-mount solar systems?
Yes – there are two main types of ground-mount solar systems. There are standard ground mounts and pole mount solar panels.
Standard Ground Mount
- Connects to the ground in multiple places, like a tent.
- Creates an angled frame that the solar panels will be placed on.
Pole Mount Solar Panels
- Connects to the ground in one place
- Solar panels are placed on a box-shaped frame that is near the top of the pole
What kind of special surveys or permits are needed for ground mount solar panels?
The exact details on the surveys and permits you need to install a ground mount solar panels depend on your precise location.
However, this type of solar panel installation is more involved than roof-mounted solar panels, because a frame has to be constructed. When you install solar panels on a roof, there is a built-in base for them to be placed on. This has to be created especially for the ground mount solar panel system.
So because you need to build support for the solar panels in a ground mount system, you will need to obtain permits that are not required with roof-mounted solar panels. The specific steps you will need to take will vary depending on your local regulations, generally, the first step is to perform a geographic survey. You will have to analyze things like the health of the soil and natural habitats that may be affected. You will then need to obtain permits and prepare the site with tasks like excavation and pouring concrete.
Check out our recent ground mount solar installations in Florida
Glades RV Resort Solar Farm
- Four acres of solar panels
- Single-axis tracking ground mount
- 2400 – Trina 400w panels
- 7 – Chint 3 phase 125KW inverters
- 960 Total kW
Nasa Kennedy Space Center
This project is schedule to commence in 2023 and will cover 10 acres
City of Mt Dora, FL
- 2 Ground mount systems
- 5,079.36 Total kW
How is Solar Panel Installation Different With SEM Power?
Our competitors might compromise quality or overcharge you; but at SEM Power, we care about you, your budget, and the quality of your solar panels. Don’t take a gamble. In terms of the importance of solar panels, it’s not up for debate, we need clean, green energy for a stable future. That’s why SEM power wants to make things affordable and easy for you, because we know how important solar panels are for everyone. When you install solar panels, you’re working towards creating a better future for yourself, your family, and everyone else who inhabits the world. However, we know that installing solar panels is still a substantial decision, so here’s why you should trust SEM Power:
- We don’t subcontract our work.
Our talent comes from our in-house employees. We don’t believe in outsourcing our labor, because we don’t have to. Our team comprises the best people in the industry. We don’t settle for less than the best.
- We’re licensed engineering, procurement, and construction experts.
You shouldn’t have to do more work than you already have to do. That’s why we do the work for you. We’ll handle the permitting, the installation, and the logistics of interconnection. SEM Power isn’t like the other guys. We take the pressure off our customers so that you can enjoy your optimum solar panels, without the stress that comes with the “the other guy’s” installation process.
- We handle projects large and small.
We work on residential, commercial, and utility-scale projects. We figure, why limit yourself when you can work on everything? We can conquer any installation job. Regardless of the specificity of your project, let us know what you want to be done—we want to get to know you. If you want solar panels installed, SEM power is here to help.
- We know Florida solar.
No one knows Florida solar better than SEM Power. We are trusted in the state of Florida to provide state-of-the-art services—we hope that you trust us too. Our reputation precedes us. We’re known for outstanding customer service and unbeatable prices. Here are some sites we’ve worked on before:
- We offer free solar installation quotes.
We’re committed to serving all of Florida, and we want to serve you, too. We know that our prices and service are hard to beat. That’s why we offer free solar installation quotes. We’ll scope out your project, and then we’ll give you an idea about how much it costs. There’s no need for you to question the price or logistics of your project. Contact SEM Power today, because we’re the powerhouse of power.
There are a lot of benefits to switching to solar, especially to ground-mounted solar systems. However, there are some additional factors to consider that will determine if this is an option for you and your land. The good news is that SEM Power is here to help you make the right decision. We know solar and are here to help with any questions you might have.