Rooftop solar has become mainstream in Australia and covers the vast majority of the systems installed in Australia. Some households and businesses don’t have the convenience of suitable roof-space and may need to consider the potential benefits of a ground mounted solar system.
Solar Choice has developed over 750MW (750,000kW) of ground mounted solar projects and we have written this article to help people understand the challenges and whether is it is a suitable option.
What is a suitable area for a ground-mounted solar system?
Ideally you will looking for a space that is:
- Flat or gently sloping (up to 5 degrees) to the up to the south
- Outside of a 100-year flood plain
- Free of shade from nearby trees
- Close to the existing electrical infrastructure (avoiding costly trenching and cabling)
- If a large installation (above 100kW) – then not directly visible to nearby residences
- Suitable ground (not too soft required concrete foundations, not too hard requiring pre-drilling)
Prior to a solar installation going ahead a geotechnical study will need to be completed to confirm which solar mounting structure can be used and confirm the warranty of the system.
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Different Ground Mounted Solar Panel Racking Systems?
See below table which covers some of the main ground mount solar systems:
How much does a Ground Mount Solar System cost?
There are extra costs involved for a properly installed ground mounted solar system compared to installing panels on a roof. For a straight-forward ground mount project the costs are around 20c per watt greater than a rooftop system.
You can view the current average rooftop solar pricing here on the Solar Choice Price Index which is broken down by different system sizes and by capital cities.
Speak to an expert to see if a Ground Mount Solar System is right for you