You might be surprised to learn that not all solar photovoltaic (PV) systems need to be roof-mounted, or just how many options are available.
The term ground-mounted solar PV system is a bit misleading. Although the panels are not attached to a primary structure and are typically located in an open area on a property, they do require the construction of a structurally sound frame. Typically, these are dedicated structures designed and built solely to support the solar panels. However, in some cases, ground-mount installations are used to create shaded areas in parking lots or around patios.
Pergolas and gazebos
Secondary structures like pergolas or gazebos can be great locations for installing a solar array. Because pergolas and gazebos are often designed to shield an area from high-intensity sun, they are often ideal places for installing solar panels. The crucial piece is that a pergola or gazebo needs to be a stable, permanent structure with sound structural engineering to be an option.
Out-buildings and secondary structures
In many cases, our home or business may have a secondary structure on the property that serves as an ideal location for a solar installation. Pole barns, barns, sheds and detached garages can all be potential options for a solar installation so long as the buildings are structurally sound and can be easily connected to the utility meter.