Solar energy initiatives are popping up all over the country as American companies work diligently to meet renewable energy requirements. Though the preparation may be extensive, the payoff is also huge. Companies committed to renewable energy reduce their carbon footprint, stabilize energy prices, improve public health, and boost local economies and job prospects.
Solar projects rely on solar panels and wind projects on turbines to generate electricity. Accordingly, infrastructure must be readily maintained to prevent natural wear and tear. If not properly addressed, mechanical issues could lead to serious safety concerns.
Land clearing and access solutions become integral to renewable energy projects of any size. Some of these right-of-ways are temporary for the duration of the project, and sometimes they’re built permanently to ease these routine maintenance operating procedures. Here are a few steps to take as you get started on your construction land clearing project.
Assess the Land and Local Ecosystems
The first step of construction site work must be to evaluate the terrain and identify potential roadblocks. Renewable energy projects often take place in some of the most rugged and remote parts of the country. As a result, crews must plan access roads that cannot be overtaken by vegetation, tree roots, brush, and other natural obstacles in a matter of years.
BLUROC projects traverse flat, steep, wet, and rock projects of all sizes. Crews work with civil contractors and environmental experts to determine the scope of each solar project.
Recruit the Most Qualified Crew
Gather the best team of highly qualified candidates to get the job done. Crew members need both industry and renewables experience to work efficiently. Environmental and civil contractors in particular must tow the line between both areas of expertise. The industry experience helps contractors determine timelines, communicate with stakeholders, collect the right equipment, and assemble a team.
Their expertise in renewables, and solar energy specifically, will prove critically important when it comes time to demonstrate compliance with local, state, and federal environmental regulations. Many of the permits required for renewable projects must be obtained months in advance, so it’s best to hire contractors who have the know-how to quickly acquire and implement the approval process.
Create Access Solutions to Support Infrastructure
The scope of access solutions required will depend on the types of vehicles and machinery needed for the project. Bulky, heavy equipment requires heavy-duty access solutions that absorb the weight of the machinery without placing extreme pressure on the ground beneath. Crew members cut, clear, and grind any obstructions to make way for right-of-way access by hand felling or mechanized equipment. The process is fairly straightforward, but requires a team of knowledgeable, dedicated workers to clear the path efficiently so the project can be completed on time.
Comply with Safety and Environmental Regulations
Crews must adhere to local guidelines surrounding environmental protection initiatives, zoning regulations, and laws. Failure to adhere to these standards can result in hefty fines and bring the project to a halt. Because every project is constructed on slightly different terrain, the regulation policies will also fluctuate. Contractors must stay up to date with changes in industry standards to ensure teams are following protocol.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service provides an overview of the conservation efforts and environmental contractors must take into account. In particular, contractors must consider the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge of pollutants into water streams. In response, teams must create a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) to address these ongoing concerns, identify potential red flags at the job site, and outline how the crew plans to prevent water pollution for this reason.
Streamline Project Management
With so many moving parts, construction site contractors must create a succinct project plan according to permit approval, site preparation readiness, infrastructure installation, and site restoration. Project managers can choose from a variety of project management tools that are specific to the construction business. Using the mobile or desktop version, project managers can speak directly with clients, set new deadlines and objectives, estimate resources spent on staffing and machinery, and monitor project spend on a daily or weekly basis to keep the project within budget.
Get the BLUROC Advantage
BLUROC, a YAK ACCESS company, does it all when it comes to construction land clearing for renewable energy projects. Our crews use state-of-the-art machinery to remove brush and pave ROW access with ease. We’re well versed in terrain of all kinds because of the years of industry experience we bring to the table. We’re your single-source provider for getting projects done quickly, even in the most rugged conditions, without compromising our commitment to worker safety, compliance with environmental regulations, and excellent customer service.
To learn more about kick-starting your next renewables initiative and construction land clearing project, check out our blog for more tips from industry experts.