5 Minutes to Understand the Pros and Cons of Ground Mounted Solar Panel Systems

5 Minutes to Understand the Pros and Cons of Ground Mounted Solar Panel Systems

The choice between rooftop and ground-mounted solar panel systems has been a subject of interest for many homeowners and businesses.

In recent years, ground-mounted systems have gained popularity because it is easier to maintain and eliminates the need to drill holes in the roof.

Join us as we explore the pros and cons of ground-mounted systems.

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Advantages of Ground-Mounted Solar Panels

In terms of benefits, energy yield, and post-maintenance, ground-mounted solar panels undoubtedly have a number of advantages that people overlook.

Higher Energy Output

When compared to rooftop installations, ground-mounted solar panels typically achieve higher energy output.

This advantage stems from their freedom from roof size and orientation constraints, enabling the installation of more solar panels across a broader area.

Additionally, the well-ventilated ground installation keeps solar panels cool and enhances energy conversion efficiency.

Ease of Maintenance

Ground-mounted solar panels are easier to maintain due to their enhanced accessibility. This facilitates convenient cleaning and inspections, ensuring their efficient operation.

Unlike rooftop installations, where challenges may arise during roof repairs and panel movements, ground-mounted panels provide a simpler and safer maintenance process.

Additionally, in snowy regions, there’s no need to worry about potential roof collapse or damage, making ground-mounted installations a practical choice. Climbing ladders and wearing safety gear to clean rooftop panels is unnecessary with ground-mounted setups.

Preserving the Roof Structure

When installing solar panels on rooftops, especially on slate, Spanish tile, or asphalt roofs, there’s often a need to remove, damage, or drill into the tiles, leading to potential leakage risks over time. 

In contrast, ground-mounted solar panels do not cause any damage to the roof structure, preventing future maintenance and cost issues. 

Moreover, in cases where the roof’s load-bearing capacity is a concern, rooftop installations can be destructive.

Flexible land use

Rooftop solar isn’t the only way to dual-utilize land. Ground-mounted solar panels can also increase the functionality and value of the land.

Residential solar ground mounts

Solar energy systems offer homeowners a degree of energy independence. 

Producing electricity on-site reduces reliance on external energy providers and the vulnerability to power outages. 

This sense of energy security is highly attractive to potential buyers, especially in regions prone to grid disruptions.

Residential solar systems also contribute to increasing your property’s value.

If you reside in an area with high electricity prices, your home has a greater potential for value appreciation upon resale, provided you are the legal owner of the solar system.

Agricultural solar ground mounts

Don’t worry, there are no zombies here, but harvesting the sun brings a lot of benefits for Dave and his fellow farmers!

Notably, solar panels increase crop yield, reduce water demand, and provide electricity for agricultural systems.

Furthermore, grazing livestock contribute to vegetation control, resulting in significant cost savings for solar photovoltaic system maintenance (protective measures advised for certain animals with a tendency to attack panels).

Commercial solar ground mounts

Strengthening Corporate Environmental Image

Embracing solar energy aligns the company with eco-friendly initiatives, earning the respect and loyalty of environmentally-conscious customers and stakeholders. 

This enhanced environmental image can positively influence the brand’s reputation and attract like-minded partners and clients.

Reliable and Continuous Power Supply

These systems provide a stable and reliable power supply, ensuring uninterrupted operations for critical processes and equipment.

Businesses that rely heavily on technology and equipment can greatly benefit from installing commercial ground solar energy systems.

For example, Data Centers, Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities, Research Laboratories, warehouses, Indoor Farming, and so on.

Energy Cost Savings through Solar Installations

Enterprises can capitalize on their open parking lots and idle land by implementing commercial solar ground installations.

The adoption of solar power reduces reliance on the electrical grid, insulating businesses from escalating electricity tariffs, resulting in considerable energy cost savings.

Additionally, net metering offers the opportunity for additional revenue generation.

sandy area

Disadvantages of Ground-Mounted Solar Panels

Ground solar installations offer numerous benefits, but they also come with certain disadvantages. Here are four key aspects where ground-mounted solar panels may have limitations.

Infrastructure Investment

Ground solar installations require additional infrastructure investment compared to rooftop installations. 

Building the necessary support structures, foundations, and mounting systems adds to the overall installation cost. 

In some cases, especially for larger-scale projects, significant land preparation and grading may be necessary, further increasing the upfront expenses.

Terrain and Soil Constraints

The topography and soil conditions of the installation site can impact the feasibility and cost of ground-mounted solar panels. 

Uneven terrain may require additional engineering and grading work to ensure a level surface for the panels. 

Poor soil conditions may necessitate costly foundation designs to ensure the stability of the solar array.

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Ground-mounted solar panels are more exposed to environmental elements, such as dust, dirt, and debris, fall leaves compared to rooftop installations. 

As a result, they require regular cleaning to maintain optimal energy production. 

Cleaning ground panels can be more labor-intensive and time-consuming, especially for larger installations, leading to additional operational costs.

Aesthetic Impact

Ground-mounted solar installations can be visible to the surrounding area, potentially impacting the visual aesthetics of the location. 

Some individuals or communities may have aesthetic concerns about the appearance of the solar arrays, especially if the installation is near residential areas or scenic landscapes.

Ground-mounted solar installations can be visible to the surrounding area, potentially impacting the visual aesthetics of the location. 

Some individuals or communities may have aesthetic concerns about the appearance of the solar arrays, especially if the installation is near residential areas or scenic landscapes.

ground mounted solar panels in snowy area

Ground Mounted Solar Panel Systems FAQ

Are ground mounted solar panels cheaper than roof mounted?

No, ground-mounted solar panel installations are typically more expensive than rooftop installations, and there are several reasons for this:

More Components Required

Ground-mounted solar installations require more components compared to rooftop installations.

Unlike rooftop setups, ground arrays need independent support structures, which require additional components like support posts, beams, and rails to securely mount the solar panels on the ground.

These components add to the overall material costs of the installation.

Complex Installation Process

The installation process for ground-mounted solar arrays is more complex compared to rooftop systems.

Installing support structures and foundations on the ground requires careful planning and precise measurements to ensure proper alignment and stability.

This process may involve excavation, pouring concrete, securing posts, and other labor-intensive tasks, all of which increase labor and equipment costs.

Challenging Permitting Process

Obtaining the necessary permits for ground-mounted solar installations can be more challenging and time-consuming compared to rooftop systems.

You need to consider design considerations (for high wind, snow, or seismic risk areas), soil conditions, property line setbacks (to avoid potential issues after installation), and more.

The permitting process may involve multiple stakeholders and may require addressing concerns related to land use, environmental impact, and community interests.

This complexity can lead to additional expenses and delays.

How much does it cost to install solar panels on the ground?

According to the data provided by EnergySage, the estimated cost for residential ground-mounted solar installations, after accounting for tax incentives, ranges from $17,000 to $34,000 and above.

On the other hand, companies or communities looking to establish a solar power plant can expect to pay $800,000 to $1,300,000 and above.

The cost of ground-mounted solar panel systems is influenced by a combination of factors, ranging from system size and technology to location and regulatory considerations.

Property owners considering solar installations should carefully assess these factors to make informed decisions and leverage the benefits of renewable energy while ensuring a sustainable return on investment.

Do ground mounted solar panels need to be cleaned regularly?

Yes, ground-mounted solar panels require regular cleaning to maintain their optimal performance and efficiency.

Generally, it is recommended to clean the solar panels once or twice a year, but the frequency of cleaning may vary depending on the location. In dusty or heavily vegetated areas, more frequent maintenance may be necessary.

DIY Cleaning or Professional Cleaning?

For small residential ground-mounted solar panel installations, you can choose to clean them yourself using a specialized cleaning kit that won't damage the panels, saving you money.

However, if you value your time or have multiple cleaning needs at your residence, or if you find it inconvenient to perform the cleaning yourself, hiring a licensed and insured cleaning company with trained workers could be a good option.

Not all cleaning companies may offer solar cleaning services, and their coverage area may vary.

Additional Services

There are specialized solar cleaning companies that also provide additional services such as maintenance, repair, installing protective barriers, and fixing ground solar systems damaged by wildlife.

Opting for such services can help ensure the longevity and efficiency of your ground-mounted solar panel system.

Read more: https://alvsolar.com/2023-solar-panel-maintenance-cleaning-guide/

solar panel cleaning

What is the solar payback period?

What is the solar payback period?

The payback period of a solar panel refers to the amount of time it takes for the savings on electricity bills to equal the initial investment cost of the solar panel system. In other words, it is the time it takes to recoup the money spent on installing the solar panels through the savings on energy costs.

The solar panel payback cycle can be simply predicted using the following formula:

(Initial Investment Cost-Financial Incentives)/Annual Savings

Annual Savings= Monthly Electric Bill*12

The payback period of solar panels can vary based on several factors.

On average, the payback period for a residential solar panel system ranges from 5 to 10 years, depending on the factors mentioned above.

Once the payback period is completed, the solar panel system continues to produce electricity and provide savings on energy costs for many years, effectively generating free electricity for the remainder of its lifespan.

solar payback period


Roof installation offers convenience but is constrained by space limitations. Ground installation, in contrast, optimizes unproductive land, allowing for array expansion and simplifying maintenance. 

However, ground installation does have its drawbacks, including higher upfront costs, more intricate design requirements, and a larger land footprint.

Taking a comprehensive approach to evaluating these aspects will help you make an informed decision regarding the suitability of ground-mounted solar panels for your specific energy goals and property specifications.

Contact Us Today to Explore the Best Solar Solution for Your Needs!

Whether you need a ground-mounted system, rooftop installation, or a tracking system, ALV has the expertise to guide you through the process. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to harness the power of solar energy for your home or business. Contact us today for a consultation and take the first step towards a sustainable future.

If you have any inquiries or would like to discuss your solar project with us, please visit our website to explore further details: https://alvsolar.com/

Our team will be happy to assist you. We look forward to hearing from you and being a part of your solar journey!

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