Ensuring the optimal performance of solar installations is essential for productivity and ROI. For ground mount arrays, solar vegetation management is a key component. Overgrown vegetation can cause safety issues, electrical damage, and production loss if left unaddressed. It is important to keep cable trays, inverters, and all equipment free from obstructions. In this blog, we will discuss this crucial often overlooked aspect for maximizing production and explore best practices. 

Start from the Ground Up 

Solar vegetation management should be one of the first things to consider when planning a large ground mount solar array.  Given the investment to run these systems there is a great incentive to protect your investment in assets and infrastructure with strategic vegetation maintenance. 

  • Plant and maintain helpful plants that protect equipment. Work with a seeding expert to choose varieties that will minimize maintenance over time during first years of development and beyond. 
  • Have professionally trained working crews that can control and eliminate unwanted plants that threaten equipment. 
  • Create a stormwater management plan for proper drainage of your site. 
  • Maintain the correct vegetation height and prevent overgrown weeds with a well-executed maintenance schedule.  

Why Vegetation Management Matters 

  • Shading: Vegetation can cast shadows on solar panels, significantly reducing their efficiency and power output. Regular vegetation management is necessary to minimize shading effects. 
  • Efficiency and Performance: Solar panels operate most efficiently when exposed to direct sunlight. By implementing effective vegetation management strategies, solar system owners can optimize energy production and enhance overall performance. 
  • Property and Asset Preservation: By limiting overgrowth, you lower the risk of damage to equipment.  

CES Best Practices 

  • Regular Inspections: We perform routine inspections of the solar array and surrounding vegetation to identify any potential issues at the start of the season and look at plant overgrowth between mows.  It is important to recognize weed populations early on before they inhibit larger areas. 
  • Mowing: We trim and mow near solar panels to prevent shading and equipment obstructions. Our professional crew is experienced in managing vegetation around solar installations. 
  • Monitoring and Maintenance:   We establish a comprehensive maintenance schedule to ensure ongoing vegetation management. Monitor plant growth regularly and address any issues promptly to prevent them from escalating. 
  • Equipment: We use appropriate machinery to protect your system assets.  Having the proper equipment that can work in small areas and around wiring and electrical equipment can save huge costs in repair and replacements.   
  • Safety.  We monitor the buildup of dry vegetation under single axis trackers that can become a potential fuel source for a fire.   

CES will focus on providing the best vegetation maintenance program to help with your site maintenance and keep your system performing optimally.  By implementing proactive strategies, solar owners can mitigate shading effects, prevent damage, and maximize energy output. The O+M team at Continental Energy Solutions is here to help you gain the full potential of your solar assets, discover the benefits, and provide the valuable insights for all of your solar panel inspection needs.

Contact the CES Operations and Maintenance Team at:
(630) 637-2150

Visit our Operations & Maintenance page for a comprehensive list of services.