Mt. Jackson Solar Farm Erosion Control

Learn how Ferguson Waterworks addressed some concerning erosion problems on a solar farm in Mt. Jackson, VA.

Solar Farm Mount Jackson
G.B. Foltz Contracting, Inc.
Mt. Jackson, Virginia

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Unsuccessful stabilization attempts made in the past led to severe erosion in critical drainage channels on a newly constructed solar farm in Mt. Jackson, VA. The absence of vegetation allowed the channels to erode very quickly. They needed to be repaired and protected as soon as possible to prevent further damage.


Shearforce was chosen to protect the channel from future erosion. The simulated turf slowed down water flow immediately while it protected the channel and allowed the seed underneath to germinate in the soil. Vegetation growth will now occur which will anchor the soil in place and slow down water velocity. ShearForce was a low-cost option for the client and it eliminated the risk of damaging expensive solar panels with heavy machinery.

Product advantages:

  • Provides immediate erosion protection
  • More cost effective than rock rip rap
  • Maintenance is easy—easily mowed
  • Highly UV stable
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Easy to install where heavy machinery won’t fit

Project Background

The site was inadequately stabilized by a previous contractor which led to worse erosion than there would have been with proper stabilization. Vegetation never took to the channels which further complicated the problem. G.B. Foltz Contracting called Ferguson because they knew we would have a simple, cost-effective solution that would minimize risk to the solar panels while working.

When the solar panels were installed, the solar farm became much more difficult to work in because of the confined space around the panels and the fear of damaging them with heavy machinery.

Project Scope

Use compact equipment and lightweight materials to restabilize the channels on the solar farm rather than using disruptive and potentially harmful (to the solar panels) heavy equipment to install rip rap.


Erosion on the solar farm had disturbed the natural slope of the channel. To start the project, the channels were regraded with compact construction equipment. When the grade of the channel had been restored, grass seed was added to the dirt to promote vegetation growth. After seeding, the rolls of ShearForce were carefully installed along the channel and then pinned. Anchor trenches were backfilled, and ShearForce was installed.

Why Ferguson Waterworks?

The contractor felt at ease with our proposed erosion control solution, which minimized disturbances to the expensive solar panels on the jobsite. We were also able to come up with a cost-effective solution in a timely manner that would provide immediate erosion control on the solar farm jobsite without breaking any budgets.

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