January 25, 2024
Partner Spotlight:

Lower impact on land. Higher project throughput.

Planted’s approach minimizes the hydrological impact of solar development by conforming to the existing terrain, lowering compaction, preserving vegetation, and a rapid construction timeline that reaches hydrological and soil stability faster.

Solar array foundations in a well vegetated field with stable grass growth

Solar development can create challenges in managing stormwater runoff volumes and quality. 

A significant factor for hydrological impacts on solar projects is the disruption of the natural land from grading and vegetation removal. These disruptions increase the likelihood of erosion caused by runoff, poor water quality, and strained local waterways. The need for grading is often driven by traditional racking structures, which results in long periods of unstabilized soil and additional soil compaction due to heavy traffic during construction.

More regulations are emerging to mitigate the environmental and financial costs for areas surrounding new solar developments. Several tracker manufacturers have released specialized terrain-following products to avoid more intensive earthworks and construction operations.

The Planted terrain-following array constructed with small, modular equipment not only preserves the existing contours of the terrain but also reduces soil compaction. Combined with a drastically reduced construction timeline and the need for roughly half the land use per MWh, the resultant hydrological impact and risk are lower than traditional solar installations.

For a full analysis, please check out Solar Park Hydrological Considerations for Low-Impact Design.


Planted Solar

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