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US startup to build 100 MW solar plant with modules on ground

Erthos claims that with its new installation method, solar facilities could occupy just one-third of the surface covered by conventional PV plants, potentially reducing installations costs by up to 20%.

Erthos, an Arizona-based startup, has developed a new way to install solar power plants directly on the ground, without the need for mounting structures.

“It takes advantage of the heat absorption properties of the earth, offers unbeatable aerodynamics, and is the lowest cost installation method in the world,” the company said in a statement.

Erthos claims that the new method enables the construction of solar plants in half the time and one-third of the land compared to conventional ground-mounted facilities. The new method also uses 70% fewer cables and trenches, and reportedly reduces installation costs by at least 20%.

Daniel Flaningan, head of marketing and product at Erthos, said the project design only requires light civil engineering. The method is also usable in different topographies, with little to no grading. In addition, projects built under this system can withstand “category 4” hurricanes, according to the company.

The company recently signed an agreement with US developer Industrial Sun LLC for a new solar project of more than 100 MW in Texas.

“As it is an area with minimal developable land, the developer could not install such a large project with conventional solar technologies, which usually require between five and six acres of land per megawatt,” said Erthos. “In contrast, Earth Mount Solar PV typically requires less than 2.5 acres per MW, achieving more than double the energy density of typical systems.”

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The company is offering its Earth Mount Solar system with its software platform and long-term energy services, including full operations and maintenance. It also provides robotic cleaning services. In addition to the United States, the company has experience in Latin America, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, and Asia.

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Source: pv magazine