IMPA Solar Park Revegetation

To revitalize the depleted, sandy soils at a new solar site, Ferguson Waterworks consulted with partner Profile® Products to analyze the soil and create a custom solution.

IMPA Solar Park overview with revitalized sandy soils.
Customer:
Indiana Municipal Power Agency
Location:
Washington, Indiana
Products:
Biotic Soil

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Challenge

Sandy soil with very little organic matter proved difficult to revegetate.

Solution

To revitalize the depleted, sandy soils at a new solar site, Ferguson Waterworks consulted with partner Profile® Products. Together they analyzed the soil and created a custom solution.

Soil test results from Profile Products’ Soil Solutions Software (PS3) revealed pertinent data. For example, there was only 0.4% organic matter present – ideal levels are 5% or higher. Furthermore, it there was extremely low silt and clay levels.

Background

Originally a melon farm, the Washington, Indiana solar site was repurposed to provide a renewable energy supply for the local community. Construction began in early 2022. Significant work was needed to revegetate more than 24 acres with native plants and grasses. Unlike melons, which prefer sandy soils, plants and grasses require additional nutrients to prosper.

Project Scope

The Indiana Municipal Power Agency (IMPA) has developed solar parks throughout the state of Indiana. The Washington location, however, is one of the largest projects the municipal agency has taken on. With many eyes on the project including both taxpayers to government officials, the pressure was on to deliver an environmentally friendly and effective solution. Establishing vegetation and reducing potential runoff was a must.

Nearing the end of the seeding season, a quick, effective application was essential to ensure successful growth. That is why Ferguson Waterworks and Profile Products worked together to evaluate and prescribe the right products and treatments to ensure success.

Method

Ferguson Waterworks began the hydraulic application of ProGanics® DUAL™ in May 2023. Key components of the DUAL hydroseeding slurry include plant seed, growth stimulators, organic matter materials, and biological inoculants to mimic and speed up natural soil processes. Hydraulic application ensures smooth, consistent ground coverage. Furthermore, this application method resists rainfall better than alternatives due to advanced tackifier technology. In areas around the solar panel bases, a manual hose spray application was necessary to ensure the product did not coat the panels.

The Solution: Ferguson Waterworks and Profile Products

The solution included a hydraulic application of ProGanics® DUAL™. This is a unique topsoil alternative that converts depleted subsoils into ideal substrates meanwhile combining the erosion control performance of a Bonded Fiber Matrix (BFM). It supports the establishment of healthy vegetation and simultaneously locks down seeds and soil.

With Profile’s data-backed approach, an innovative erosion control and revegetation solution was devised. Then, Ferguson Waterworks implemented it to ensure the solar site not only met code requirements but also supported a healthy habitat for regional insect and animal species.

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