Case study: Solving commercial site challenges with adaptable ground-mount system

DCE Solar adjustable ground mount

ASSA ABLOY, a premier North American shipping company, was looking to offset electric costs and minimize the carbon footprint at its Maryland distribution and processing hub. With more than 569,000-sq-ft of available roof space, the company determined that installing a solar system would provide the facility with an opportunity to accomplish those goals.

The cost and time associated with grading the site could have stopped the project in its tracks, as no other site was available on the property.

Challenges

  • Standard racking systems require significantly more grading when the site slope exceeds 7 degrees, creating cost challenges that could hinder the ROI on the deal, making project financing extremely difficult.
  • Rolling topography meant that either multiple rack types would need to be used (not a feasible solution), or the entire site would have to be graded to the same level (a very expensive solution).
  • A racking system that could accommodate different types of terrain while still delivering uniform installation and performance was an absolute necessity.

DCE Solar commercial grading

Solutions

DCE Solar’s Contour-DB system was the best choice for this scenario due to its flexibility and ability to accommodate a greater degree of topographical changes.

Grading the site would have cost upward of $75,000. This savings applied directly to the job cost, offsetting 50 percent of the cost of the racking system just by selecting Contour-DB. The quicker installation compared against one that included grading the site, allowed ASSA ABLOY to start utilizing lower-cost clean energy sooner.

DCE Solar contour racking

Results

ASSA ABLOY has been able to reduce their operating costs while also following through on global environmental initiatives. In return, they enjoy being able to deliver more value and a green-aware brand to the customers they serve.

The EPC on the project, EnterSolar, was able to demonstrate that solar energy is a viable option for businesses and property owners without added site prep costs. This presents more opportunities for future installations.

With over 4,000 solar panels being used, the array will produce enough energy to offset over 2.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide from traditional electricity generation sources from entering the environment annually.

The produced kWh is enough to offset the power used by about 150 average American homes.

— Solar Builder magazine

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