This Is Not What You'd Expect To Find Growing In The Garden: Space Considerations For Ground-Mount Solar Panels

Posted on: 21 December 2016

If you want to install solar panels and have decided that a ground-mount system is best for your home, you now have to take a closer look at how the panels will affect your yard. Even if you already know you have enough space, the panels are going to do much more than take up a little square footage. Take a look at these issues to ensure you can work around them satisfactorily when installing the ground-mount panels.

Changing Shade and Sun

As the sun moves throughout the day, these panels will move with it -- and so will their shadows. That can affect the plants you have growing in your yard because many plants need partial or full sun to thrive. Having the sunlight cut off prematurely by a new shadow can make plants weaker and less good-looking. If there are plants in the way of the projected path of the panels' shadow that rely on sunlight to grow well, you may have to plan to transplant them.

Root Problems

Be sure the piles holding up the panels won't be damaged by fast-growing tree roots. You have to be sure that the panels will be far enough away from any trees so that the roots just won't go near the panels and their piles or columns. While tree roots can't really penetrate the materials used for the panel array base -- these aren't like leaking sewer pipes, after all -- they can push against them and possibly start to make them tilt over the years.

Weed Whacker Damage

If your panels are placed in a lawn or a general grassy area (as in a field, not a cultivated patch of green), you have to be sure the grass and other foliage around the base of the panel arrays is kept short so it doesn't interfere with the arrays. But that also means you have to be careful cutting the grass so that you don't damage the base of the arrays. If you use something like a weed whacker, the string could scratch or dent the base, for example. Mowers aren't that good in this respect, either. You may have to prepare yourself to occasionally hand-trim taller grass right around the base of the pile holding up the panels.

Have solar contractors from a company like AAA Solar Source come out and inspect the area in which you plan to put the panels. They should be able to help you pinpoint potential garden problems so that you can take care of those ahead of time.