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A comparison of ground mounted solar panels and roof mounted solar panels

There are a couple different types of installation methods for solar panels. Here at Paradise Energy Solutions, we install roof mounted solar panels, ground mounted solar panels, and carports. These installation types accomplish different goals, and what works for one customer may not be the best option for other customers.


It is important to examine the advantages and disadvantages of all installation types when considering solar. The goal of this blog post is to highlight the advantages and disadvantages so you can make the most informed decision for you.


Before diving into the list, let’s first define what a ground mount and roof mount solar system is.


Roof Mounted Solar Panels

A roof mount is the most common type of installation. This is when the solar racking, which holds the panels in place, is installed directly on the roof. Panels can be attached to flat or sloping roofs consisting of metal, shingle, or rubber materials.

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Ground Mounted Solar Panels

A ground mount is when the panels are secured to a rack structure that is connected to the ground with steel beams or another type of metal post. Ground mounts can be installed in an open area or as a carport over a parking lot.

Ground mounts can be installed wherever the conditions are best for solar, making them a great alternative for someone who doesn’t have enough usable roof space or just prefer to not have panels mounted to the roof.




Advantages and Disadvantages

Without further ado, here are the advantages and disadvantages of ground mounted and roof mounted solar systems.


Roof Mounts: Pros and Cons


Pictured is a Roof Mounted Solar Panel System on a Standing Seam Metal RoofPictured is a Roof Mounted Solar Panel System on a Standing Seam Metal Roof



  • Roof mounts utilize space that otherwise wouldn’t be used.
  • Typically the installation cost is lower compared to a ground mounted system
  • Doesn’t take up land that could be utilized for other activities
  • Limits unauthorized visitors from accessing the panels 
  • Panels can protect the roof from exposure to certain elements



  • Roof penetration is required for shingle roofs
  • Could require a new roof before installation
  • Will make future roof maintenance more difficult
  • Adds weight to your roof, and in some cases, the roof could require additional support mechanisms
  • Some believe solar hurts curb appeal
  • Can be a safety hazard for the installation team


Things to consider:

  • The age and condition of your roof
  • The impact solar could potentially have on your roof warranty


Ground Mounts: Pros and Cons


Pictured is a Carport and Ground Mounted Solar Panel SystemPictured is a Carport and Ground Mounted Solar Panel System



  • Ground mounts can be installed in any direction or location, positioning them for optimal energy production
  • They can be installed at multiple angles
  • The system can easily be accessed for maintenance
  • Carports can be installed in existing parking lots - providing shading and protection to parked cars



  • Typically the installation cost is higher
  • Limits the use of the land
  • Takes up large areas
  • Easier access for unauthorized visitors
  • Increased chance for accidental damage from rocks or other particles thrown from a mower and other equipment
  • Likely requires mowing around multiple posts and under low clearances


Things to consider:

  • The long-term plan for the plot of land
  • The terrain of your property



Do You Have More Questions?

We’re here to help guide you on your path to reducing your energy costs. If you have any additional questions about solar energy or you’re ready to get a free estimate, don’t hesitate to contact us at 877-851-9269 or click here. 



Andy Schell

Andy has been working in the solar industry for over three years and has completed Solar PV101 training through Solar Energy International. He serves as the Marketing Manager at Paradise Energy Solutions, working from our corporate headquarters in Paradise, PA.

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