The City awarded this project to Azimuth to provide full-service project management, engineering services, equipment procurement, commissioning, and training for this municipality’s 268 kW ground-mounted solar-PV project. We worked closely with the City to plan and schedule the project, as well as develop the engineering in concert with co-marketing efforts with local manufacturers of system components. Azimuth also trained the Columbia Water and Light field services personnel to enable them to conduct the installation on their own, and we served as the Construction Advisor overseeing the installation performed by those newly trained utility field personnel.
Design Rationale and System Architecture: The overall design utilized string inverter power electronics aimed at providing maximum uptime and production, reducing system losses, and offering cost savings during construction. The ground-mounted array uses an aluminum racking system for corrosion protection next to an adjacent industrial area, and helical pier foundations that perform well in the weak soils and can be removed easily in the future if the land is slated by the City for redevelopment.
Project Challenges: This project required a very flexible project delivery method. Typically, a solar company prefers to design and install all of their projects. In this case, the City wanted to install their own project. Since we strive to mesh with the owner’s team and structure, this was something we seamlessly adopted for this project. The contracting process was considerably more time intensive, and we also had to develop a coordination plan between our teams to ensure successful completion. Azimuth provided thorough training to the department’s staff on the construction regime as well as industry best practices to self-perform the installation.