Curious what the construction of a solar project looks like? Here it is summarized into a few steps.
The construction for solar projects generally takes 4 to 6 months, depending on the project size and seasonal conditions. Construction involves roadwork, grading (if required), underground cabling, foundation setting, equipment erection, and electrical testing/commissioning.
Each solar project site begins by clearing the site and driving steel piles into the ground. Foundations for the steel piles are typically poured beforehand, depending on the soil characteristics. Pre-drilling and grading requirements depend on the soils, topography and drainage conditions of the property.
Installation of Structure and Panel Installation
Once the site preparation is complete and the foundations are ready, horizontal beams are affixed to the steel piles as part of the mounting structure. Solar panels are then placed and secured to the mounting structures.
Solar Panel Electrical Construction
The individual solar panels are connected to the solar array via junction boxes which deliver the power generated by the solar panels to the inverter. The inverter converts the power from Direct Current (DC) to Alternating Current (AC), which can be delivered into the energy grid.
Electrical Collection System and Project Substation
An underground electrical collection system connects the solar array and carries the electricity generated by the solar array to the to the energy grid. Overhead transmission lines are also installed connecting the project substation to the electrical grid interconnection facility or point of interconnection (POI).
Most projects will construct an operations and maintenance building to house the onsite staff, the equipment, and spare parts necessary for ongoing maintenance of the project.
Once all the solar array is fully operational and producing power into the energy grid, the construction phase is deemed complete and the project will be commissioned. After commissioning is complete, the project will be handed over to the operations and maintenance crew.