TerraSmart Enables Moapa Southern Paiute Solar to Overcome Complex Installation Challenges for First and Largest Utility-Scale Solar Plant on U.S. Tribal Lands

Company’s proprietary ground screws, survey technology completes installation of fix tilt mounting for 250 MW Solar Project; overcoming challenges of tough soil and project deadlines

Estero, Fla.—July 14, 2016—TerraSmart, an industry leader in turnkey solar mounting, recently completed a landmark solar mounting project for Moapa Southern Paiute Solar. The project is the first and largest utility-scale solar plant on U.S. tribal lands and a testament to the value of partnerships and overcoming unique project obstacles. The 250 megawatt (AC) project utilized TerraSmart's surveying, drilling, ground screw and fix tilt mounting solutions to support 3,209,091 modules on approximately 2,000 acres on the Moapa River Indian Reservation in Clark County, Nevada.

The project faced a variety of challenges; most notably the sand/caliche type of soil at the project site. The 12-24 inch layer of caliche, a layer of soil in which the soil particles have been cemented together by lime, topped by 8-12 inches of light sand, posed issues for the typical driven piles. To overcome this, TerraSmart utilized ground screws as a cost effective solution. In addition to being the ideal solution for the caliche soil, the ground screws provided an accelerated foundation which was critical for this project to stay on schedule to completion. Additionally, the loose sand top layer provided some unique challenges due to the accuracy needed for pile location.
"The standard survey method of staking points would not work with the loose soil and installation velocity needed to meet the schedule. But we were committed to delivering a successful, high-quality project, so we developed a proprietary software to survey/drill at the same time. The rock drill machines were loaded with the coordinates to locate foundation points and drilling began at that location. This enabled us to meet the accuracy we needed for the racking to go up correctly and on-time," explained Ryan Reid, TerraSmart CEO.
The Moapa Band of Paiutes is forward-thinking in their dedication to renewables and utilizing their lands for energy production. In all, it plans to develop up to 1.5 GW of renewable energy on their 70,000 acres of tribal lands.
"Stewardship of our lands is paramount and carefully utilizing this precious resource to spur economic development is an ideal solution," said Robert Tom, Chairman, Moapa Band of Paiutes. "TerraSmart showed incredible respect for our land and our combined approach of minimizing impact while maximizing resources."
Moapa Southern Paiute Solar, LLC (a subsidiary of First Solar Electric, LLC) is the project owner and constructed the project using First Solar's advanced photovoltaic (PV) thin film solar modules.
According to First Solar, the completed project will generate enough clean solar energy to serve approximately 100,000 homes per year, displacing approximately 178,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually — the equivalent of taking about 34,000 cars off the road. It will also include an onsite substation and a new 5.5 mile 500 kV transmission line that will connect to the existing Crystal Substation serving energy users in California. Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project has a Power Purchase Agreement with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to deliver clean, solar energy for 25 years.
About TerraSmart
TerraSmart is North America's leader in solar racking, engineering, design and manufacturing of turnkey, ground mount racking solutions for commercial to utility-scale solar projects. With decades of experience in structural engineering and aluminum and steel fabrication and more than 1 gigawatt installed, TerraSmart delivers the most technologically advanced solar racking solutions in the industry.
TerraSmart's innovative ground screw foundation and racking systems have transformed the solar industry by minimizing project risks, ensuring successful installation in all soil types, and offering the most cost effective solutions. For more information, please visit: www.TerraSmart.com

Featured Product



You haven't installed a tile mount that is easier to install than the Solar Tile Mount manufactured by TRA Snow and Sun. Solar Tile Mount is used on all tile roof profiles: flat, mid, and high. It is made in the USA of aluminum alloy for strength and excellent corrosion resistance. Solar Tile Mount is built to allow more ease in installation with more rise from the tile surface to the rail for better air flow below panels. The adjustable base is longer than most allowing attachment 6" to the left or right to have the bracket in the base of the pan of the tile and still fasten to the rafter. Solar Tile Mount is adjustable for counter batten systems from ¾" to 3". The horizontal rail is directly above base fasteners giving greater uplift resistance than any other system. For superior waterproofing apply TRA Snow and Sun's butyl backed VersaFlash aluminum flashing. No tile flashing is needed on top of the tile for greater labor and material cost savings.