20-2 Considerations for Soil Interpretations for Ground Mounted Solar Array Systems.

See more from this Division: ASA Section: Land Management & Conservation
See more from this Session: Military Land Use and Management: I

Sunday, November 15, 2015: 2:55 PM
Minneapolis Convention Center, M100 E

Maxine J. Levin1, Robert Dobos2, Cathy A. Seybold2, Susan B. Southard3, Steve Peaslee2 and Dean Cowheard4, (1)USDA-NRCS, Silver Spring, MD
(2)National Soil Survey Center, USDA-NRCS, Lincoln, NE
(3)USDA-NRCS, Davis, CA
(4)USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Annapolis, MD
Since 2010, there has been a great deal of interest in developing nationwide reasonable sites on US public and private lands for Solar Array systems. Most recently a site has been developed on the USDA headquarters, Washington Carver Center, in Beltsville MD.  Utility-scale solar energy environmental considerations include land disturbance/land use impacts; potential impacts to specially designated areas; impacts to soil, water and air resources; impacts to vegetation, wildlife, wildlife habitat, and sensitive species; visual, cultural, paleontological, socioeconomic, and environmental justice impacts, and potential impacts from hazardous materials. There are several soil property considerations for successful installation and maintenance of solar array facilities that are integral into the design of a facility.  A National Soil Interpretation from the official US National Cooperative Soil Survey for this land use has been developed using reasonable thresholds for optimum conditions of soil properties as a criteria table for high, medium and low suitability.  Specifically pH, slope and terrain, aspect, drainage, corrosivity (steel and concrete); low vegetative upkeep of cover crop are available as part of the US National Cooperative Soil Survey/gSSURGO database were used to create a viable soil interpretation map at the field and regional levels that could be used as an extension guide or as a community planning tool.


PV FAQs, pamphlet. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Washington, D.C. 20585 DOE/GO-102004-1835

Revised February 2004

Solar Energy Environmental Mapper Web-Based GIS Application http://solareis.anl.gov/eis/rmps/index.cfm  This Web site is the online center for public information and involvement in the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States (Solar PEIS).

National Cooperative Soil Survey. 2015. National Cooperative Soil Characterization Database. Available online at http://ssldata.nrcs.usda.gov.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. National Soil Survey Handbook, title 430-VI. Available online at http://soils.usda.gov/technical/handbook/. Accessed 4/21/2015.

See more from this Division: ASA Section: Land Management & Conservation
See more from this Session: Military Land Use and Management: I