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Ground-Mounted Solar Panels: Harnessing the Sun from the Ground Up

February 26, 2024 | Reading Time: 7 minutes

Many are unaware that ground-mounted solar systems offer a practical alternative to rooftop solar panels for homes or businesses lacking rooftop capacity but possessing sufficient land space.

Ground-Mount Requirements

Ground-mounts require a large, sun-drenched space and specific soil. The necessary size will vary based on the amount of energy you need. 

Annual ProductionAnnual Value of ElectricityDimensions
5,000 kWh$1,25018’X12′
10,000 kWh$2,50018’x20′
15,000 kWh$3,75018’x28′
20,000 kWh$5,00018’x36′
25,000 kWh$6,25018’x43′

Ideal soil conditions for ground-mounted systems include a stable, surface of consistent dirt without large rocks or terminal dampness.

Ground-Mount Advantages

There are some advantages that make ground-mounts more efficient than roof systems. Their structure gives them flexibility in positioning, allowing them to be precisely angled to maximize sun exposure and create more energy overtime. Some ground-mounts can even be equipped with a tracking device that allows the panel to follow the sun’s path. 

Types of Ground-Mounted Systems

There are two kinds of ground-mounted solar systems each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Standard Ground-Mounts

Standard ground-mounted systems are held up by a metal frame that’s driven into the ground. Some frames can be adjusted throughout the year but for the most part, this system is stagnant.

While efficiency is not entirely maximized, the sturdy frame provides a strong base and very little maintenance requirements.

Pole-Mounted Systems

Pole-mounted systems provide the most flexibility when it comes to positioning as the panels can oscillate over their mounted pole. This setup allows for tracking systems and daily movement to follow sunlight and optimize energy generation. These systems can be up to 25% more efficient than typical rooftop panels.

The higher efficiency can come at a cost as the consistently moving parts may require more maintenance in the long-term.

Ground-Mounted Systems: Frequently Asked Questions

How much do ground-mounted systems cost?

Ground-mounted solar systems are typically more expensive than rooftop systems. This is because they often require more equipment to be mounted into the ground.

The average ground-mount system costs around $30,000.

Can solar incentives be applied to ground-mounted systems?

Yes, ground-mounted systems are able to qualify for solar incentives.

Do ground-mounted solar panels work the same as roof panels?

Yes, ground-mounted and rooftop panels work the same way; through the photovoltaic effect.

Are the same solar panels used in ground-mounts as rooftop systems?

Yes, the same panels are used in ground-mount systems as rooftop systems. The main variation will be the amount of necessary panels.

Should I get a tracker system?

Trackers can make your ground-mounted panels up to 40% more efficient. The farther north your property is located, the more valuable a tracking system is. However, the tracking system is an additional cost and will likely require more maintenance due to its moving parts.

Key Takeaways

  • Ground-mounted solar systems function similarly to rooftop systems but they’re typically more efficient.
  • Ground-mounted solar systems cost $30,000 on average, after incentives are applied.
  • Ground-mounts are more flexible in positioning and angling, and are even able to move with sun in some cases, which often make them more efficient than rooftop panels.
  • Sufficient land and sturdy, dry soil is required for ground-mount system installation.

Isaksen Solar: Let Your Yard Shine

At Isaksen Solar, we’re passionate about cost savings and eco-consciousness. While not every property may accommodate solar installations, we encourage exploring ground-mounted systems as a viable option before dismissing the potential of renewable energy altogether.

We’ve installed thousands of ground-mounted systems and we want yours to be next! If you have any questions, give us a call to talk to one of our customer service representatives, (508) 717-3820, or get started with your free quote today.