Costs: Ground-mounted panels often cost more than roof mounted systems because they require additional materials, time, and labor. Solar installers generally use a cement foundation or reinforced pole structure to ensure the panels are propped up off the ground, tilted at the proper angle, and then wired to your home, all of which ends up being a slightly more involved — and expensive — process.
Space: If you have a large yard or a lot of space, you can install a much bigger ground-mounted system than you could with a rooftop-mounted system, giving you the opportunity to generate more energy and save on your utility bill. However, a large ground-mounted system will consume more of your land, leaving you less space for recreation or gardening.
Aesthetics: Ground-mounted solar panels typically sit between a few inches and several feet above the ground, depending on your location and the mounting system. If you have a small yard and a bulky array, the panels may stand out more than they would on a rooftop. This can be a significant deterrent to homes with manicured lawns and landscaped gardens.
Positioning: Solar panels should face south or west, with southwest or southeast alignments as possible alternatives. With a ground-mounted system, you can make sure your panels are oriented in the right direction and at the right angle without any potential shade to . It’s also a lot easier to install a sun-tracking system on a ground-mounted array, which can lead to higher efficiencies.
Cleaning and Maintenance: While solar panels don’t require much maintenance, you may need to clean or repair them at some point. As ground-mounted panels are closer to the ground, they are easier to clean and maintain than those on a roof. The only extra effort a ground-mounted array owner will need to invest is to keep the base of the panels clear during cold and snowy weather, as new snow on the panels can only slide off if the area below is clear.