Solar Canopy Foundations

Various Locations, MA

Stephens Associates Consulting Engineers (SA) has consulted on foundations for solar canopies at more than a dozen sites. The structures typically consist of shallow or deep foundations, with a steel superstructure supporting solar panels. The canopies are commonly located over parking lots at public- or privately-owned facilities, and are intended to provide power for use on-site or for sale back to the grid.

SA's services generally consist of geotechnical investigation and evaluation for the canopy foundations, followed by design and construction. SA has performed structural and geotechnical design shallow spread footings, drilled shafts and other deep foundation types, as needed based on the subsurface conditions at each site. We have evaluated settlement and liquefaction of very loose existing soils, including detailed site-specific earthquake analysis using SHAKE software, to meet Code requirements.

During construction, SA consulted on geotechnical aspects of foundation subgrade preparation during environmental remediation, such as minimizing the need for dewatering while achieving a suitable soil subgrade for the propose foundations. SA observed subgrade preparation and backfilling of the over-excavation on-Site for conformance with our recommendations and the contract documents.