Solar energy is on quite a roll. The United States added an estimated 6.4 gigawatts of small-scale solar capacity last year — a record for a single year. 

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, tax credits, public policy, special incentives, and lofty retail electricity costs have triggered the expansion of small-scale solar capacity over the last 10 years. 

It adds that small-scale solar, which includes rooftop solar panels, accounts for approximately one-third of all solar capacity in the country.

Meanwhile, a survey shows that between 52% and 57% of Americans would install solar panels if guaranteed a payback period of no more than five years. The good news is that this desired payback period is already possible in states with sky-high electricity rates. Otherwise, the payback period could extend to between eight and 10 years. Despite the lengthier period, it can still be a worthwhile investment.

But other than the large upfront expense needed to buy and install a solar power system, another issue for many homeowners is having to install panels on their roofs.

Do you want solar panels but don’t love the idea of putting them on your roof? Some roof-mounted solar panels are unsightly, so you might be reluctant to do something that jeopardizes your home’s curb appeal.

One option to consider is ground-mounted solar panels. You can get all the benefits of a roof-mounted system without the eyesore factor. 

Here are three reasons to consider the ground-mounted solar panel option.

1. Energy Efficiency

You’ll enjoy greater energy efficiency with a ground-mounted solar system over a roof-mounted solar system. The former offers more options for tilting the solar panels to capture more of the sun’s rays. Since the angle of your solar panels can impact power output, a ground-mounted system makes sense and is worth considering.

If you get more of the sun’s rays, you’ll potentially gain more efficiency. It’s also worth noting that ground-mounted solar panels benefit from greater ventilation than their roof-mounted counterparts. They aren’t flat against the roof, after all. And they’re usually cooler than roof-mounted solar panels due to their closer proximity to the ground. Reducing the heat will help the solar panels to more efficiently power your home.

2. Location Options

Another reason to consider a ground-mounted solar panel system is that you’ll have more control over where it’s installed. If you have a small home with a relatively small yard, a ground-mounted system might not be the best option for your use case. But assuming you have sufficient space, you can install the ground-mounted system out of sight if you want. It’ll provide the power you need but won’t be in the way.

3. Easier Access

When your solar system is of the ground-mounted variety, things will be easier since you can more readily access the system itself without having to climb onto the roof. A ground-mounted system will be beneficial for the following:

  • Expanding the system to get more solar power
  • Swapping out damaged solar panels
  • Conducting routine maintenance

It’s never a good idea for homeowners to work on their roofs. It’s best to hire professionals to do anything involving your roof. But a ground-mounted solar panel system will make it easier for technicians to access and service it.

“There are some good reasons to get a quality ground-mounted solar system,” says Jen Helms, co-owner and director of business operations at Shade Power. “While there are scenarios where consumers might be better served with a roof-mounted system, a ground-mounted solar setup is something homeowners and business owners should consider for their alternative energy needs.”

You must do your homework and find a reputable solar company specializing in solar products, installation service, and after-sales assistance. That’s especially the case if you’re relatively new to solar power and need help making informed buying decisions.