Customers Demand Lower Cost: Cast-In-Place Delivers

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With more than 50 MW installed on landfills, brownfields and community sites across North America, customers have given SunLink’s Ballasted GMS rave reviews for its ease of assembly and versatility. But one thing customers were searching for was a more creative solution to reduce the high cost and shipping complexities associated with pre-cast cement ballasts. We listened!LinkUp sat down with Product Manager Kate Trono to discuss the latest Ballasted GMS development – the ability to use cast-in-place ballast in place of pre-cast concrete blocks.“Depending on the project location, shipping pre-cast concrete ballast can run from $12,000 to $32,000 per MW, which is a significant percentage of total installed costs. Using our cast-in-place alternative can reduce total installed costs by up to 20 percent. Though we will still offer our pre-cast foundation option, we’re excited to have a new solution that solves our customers’ pre-cast-related pain points and helps them achieve more competitive project pricing.”

Ballasted GMS’ cast-in-place foundations are created using off-the-shelf concrete forms to pour concrete ballasts on site. As Kate explained, cast-in-place foundations have been the preferred solution for the construction industry for decades – and we’ve adapted those proven best practices for ground mount solar projects.

“Unlike other companies that offer their own proprietary concrete forms, SunLink’s cast-in-place foundations are created with cylindrical, heavy-duty, cardboard formwork that can be sourced from local suppliers or purchased directly from SunLink. Once on site, customers source any additional supplies from their local construction supply store, eliminating any risk of project slow-downs.

“Casting your ballast in place also allows you to set your racking into the forms at various heights to match the contours of the job site. This ability to adapt to uneven terrain allows you to ensure the top of your arrays will be level, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing solar project owners and surrounding communities appreciate.”

Transforming landfills into solar farms will continue to be one of project type about which SunLink is most excited. Have ideas for the next generation of Ballasted GMS? Let us know!