Renewable Energy Project Soil Solutions
Construction support for a greener, sustainable future
With global energy demands still rising and environmental regulations tightening up around the world, renewable energy projects have become more and more popular. But the requirements for these projects often necessitate remote locations – many of which suffer from poor soil conditions, weak subgrades, and other environmental conditions that make construction a challenge. And to make matters more difficult, some renewable projects, like wind farms, require the soil to support extremely heavy loads.
Tensar can help owners, engineers, and contractors save money and time on constructing haul/access roads, working platforms, and other structures essential to renewable energy projects. Our proven solutions have been used for wind farms, solar farms, and more, and they can even contribute to the sustainability of the overall project.
Renewable projects present unique design challenges due to the high bearing capacity required for the soil. Wind farms, in particular, have special requirements due to the high applied foundation bearing pressure from significant overturning moments, minimum rotational/dynamic stiffness requirements, and total/differential settlement design tolerances.
Tensar offers a variety of proven solutions for improving the foundations of your renewable energy structures. The Dimension® system combines Tensar geogrid and granular fill to create a composite mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) structure. This structure increases bearing capacity of soils beneath shallow spread footings and reduces total and differential settlement, among many other benefits.
Geopier® ground improvement systems also deliver improved bearing pressure, superior settlement control, and improved foundation stiffness, all through a cost-effective approach that meets your specific project requirements.
Haul & Access Roads
Renewable energy projects can’t be completed without haul and access roads capable of supporting the transit of heavy equipment and parts. Weak subgrades pose the greatest challenge to the performance of an unpaved access or haul road. One cost-effective, proven solution has successfully stabilized thousands of miles of haul roads across the world: Tensar geogrid.
With Tensar geogrid, you can reduce the required aggregate thickness necessary to construct a sturdy haul or access road, saving on costs and construction time. Haul roads stabilized with Tensar geogrid also require less excavation, which means less material to be hauled away from the site.
Soft soils and poor site conditions are common scenarios in the remote locations common for renewable projects. Left unstabilized, repeated traffic across these subgrades will quickly cause rutting to occur, resulting serious maintenance issues, more time spent, and a shorter design life for site structures.
Fortunately, Tensar geogrid is a proven soil stabilization solution that is more cost-effective to construct with than other methods. Construction savings of up to 50% can be realized due to reduced aggregate alone. It also improves site performance, reduces future maintenance costs, and minimizes environmental impact, providing a greener alternative to chemical stabilization.
Walls & Slopes
In remote locations where the geography of the land itself can be a challenge, retaining walls and reinforced slopes serve a critical function to hold back the soil around your renewable project’s site. They can help prevent moving soil from damaging your completed project, reducing maintenance costs, and they can ensure that access roads remain accessible and stable for ongoing support.
Tensar’s grade separation solutions are an economical choice that uses Tensar uniaxial (UX) geogrid to keep your project’s operations running smoothly and safely. We also offer a wide variety of facing options to meet your aesthetic and environmental needs, from beautiful stone to natural vegetation.
Working Platforms & Crane Pads
The locations where renewable project components are unloaded, especially heavy parts like wind turbines, often present the greatest challenge to avoiding subgrade failure. The ground must be able to support not only the parts themselves, but also the equipment required to transport and lift these parts. A subgrade failure in a working platform or crane pad can be utterly disastrous to a renewable project.
Innovative Tensar geogrids are designed to provide effective confinement of the granular fill, resulting in a stiff, mechanically stabilized layer capable of controlling differential settlement and increasing bearing capacity. Multiple layers of geogrid can be used to strengthen the aggregate section further in areas especially prone to subgrade failure, providing enhanced load distribution and safety for your team.