Patriot Solar Group

Rockford Airport Solar Installation Case Study

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New Generation Power was proud of the efforts of the Patriot team to find the best solutions for the flood plain and variable soil constraints as well as their expertise to assist in the overall site planning as required to comply with DOE and FAA regulations on this International Airport site.Project Overview

  • Patriot Solar Group (PSG) began working on initial mounting and layout designs during the Summer of 2011 with EPC firm, Rockford Solar Partners (RSP).  Patriot and RSP were brought together through large scale global developer, New Generation Power.
  • The array is located on 20 acres of flood plain, which added an extra element of engineering challenges. Soil conditions were not suitable for a driven pile design and module height clearance, for permitting purposes, required 6 feet of ground clearance.  Helical piers with a pipe size of 4.5 inches were selected to meet the project design criteria.
  • The 3.06 MW solar PV plant in Rockford, IL has been operational since October 2012 and is the Phase 1 portion of a three phase Master Development that will have a total nameplate capacity of 62MW when completed.

Project Objectives

  • Design racking system to meet a 90 MPH wind load and 30 PSF snow load under poor soil conditions.
  • Engineer ground mount system to maintain a 6 foot lead edge module height clearance above grade.
  • Determine ideal post option to work with poor flood plain soils.
  • Deliver entire mounting system within 5 weeks to meet demanding project deadline.

Project Results

  • Ground mount system design met all local building codes and design criteria.
  • Lead edge height clearance was achieved using helical piers.
  • Rail lengths maintained level rows East and West across the array.
  • Racking material was delivered within 5 weeks to ensure the project met substantial completion before years end.

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