The combined wind and solar generating capacity in the Texas power market is projected to double by 2035.  

  • In 2022, Texas generated 26% of all U.S. wind-sourced electricity, leading the U.S. for the 17th consecutive year. 
  • Solar energy is booming in Texas, with an installed capacity of 18,801 megawatts as of September 2023 – a 415% increase from megawatt capacity installed in 2022.  

The diverse climate and environmental conditions in Texas present unique challenges and opportunities for new builds in the renewable energy sector, especially considering the emphasis placed on construction methods that reduce carbon emissions to help Texas reach Net-Zero by 2050.  

By recruiting a partner with extensive experience in overcoming geotechnical challenges, wind/solar contractors can mitigate early project delays or challenges caused by poor subgrade conditions. Constructing an efficient haul road and base are critical for keeping new builds on time, under budget, and within the scope of your decarbonization strategy.  


Designing Optimized Wind & Solar Construction Haul Roads  

A poorly designed haul road can cause costly project delays. The conventional design and construction method for haul roads is wasteful and unnecessarily expensive. Costs add up because of:  

  • The amount of aggregate used in initial road construction.  
  • Maintenance required to fix deteriorating road conditions.  
  • Extended construction time due to difficulties encountered in compacting the aggregate over the weak sub-grade. 
  • Work stoppage due to unsafe road conditions.  

To avoid continuous rehabilitation of haul roads, a strategic design that considers the characteristics of the subgrade soil is a must.  

A properly designed haul road that ensures long-term stabilization will provide the following necessities and benefits for solar and wind projects: 

  1. Dependable site accessibility, regardless of weather conditions.  
  2. Site safety for all crew operating large and heavy machinery. 
  3. Faster transportation of equipment and materials optimizes operational efficiency.  
  4. Reduced maintenance costs for wear and tear on vehicles/equipment & fuel savings.  
  5. Minimal soil erosion, sediment runoff, and other environmental impacts. 
  6. Minimal soil compaction due to evenly distributed weight of heavy equipment, ensuring the long-term health of the project sight.
  7. Preservation of adjacent land, reducing disturbance to natural areas and habitats.  
  8. Long-term use in cases where haul roads are repurposed as maintenance roads for ongoing operations.    


The Importance of Base Stabilization for Wind & Solar Infrastructure 

In addition to a properly designed haul road, site base development is crucial to the long-term functionality of wind and solar power structures.

The following factors must be considered in the design and construction of new builds: 

  1. Foundation stability to withstand the weight and forces associated with wind and solar infrastructure.  
  2. Load distribution that accommodates the weight and size of infrastructure, reducing the risk of structural failure or uneven settling of the foundation over time.   
  3. Mitigating the effects of soil erosion, seismic activity, or high winds on the structure.  
  4. Wind and solar energy plants are expected to operate for decades. Proper base stabilization ensures that the infrastructure remains stable and functional, minimizing the need for costly repairs and maintenance. 
  5. In the case of solar farms, ensuring that the solar panels are mounted on stable foundations helps maximize energy production. A stable base ensures the panels maintain their optimal orientation and angle to capture sunlight efficiently. 
  6. Unstable foundations can pose risks to workers during construction and maintenance. Ensuring base stability reduces the likelihood of accidents and injuries. 
  7. Investing in proper base stabilization during the design and construction phase can save money in the long run by reducing the need for repairs, replacements, and maintenance. It can also help optimize energy output, contributing to a faster return on investment and a more reliable energy source. 


Titan’s Soil Reinforcement & Stabilization Solutions 

Titan offers geocell and a range of biaxial geogrid products that help solve soil reinforcement and stabilization challenges for specific sites and applications.  

Swamp Grid™ is a unique base reinforcement product specially designed and manufactured in-house at Titan Environmental. It consists of a biaxial geogrid bonded to a continuous filament nonwoven geotextile by a precision heat bonding process. The geogrid acts as reinforcement, whereas the geotextile works as a soil separator and filter to prevent contamination of the aggregate base by fines from the subgrade.    

An image of Swamp Grid geogrid

It performs as an all-in-one geogrid solution that offers soil reinforcement with added soil filtration, soil separation, and sub-base drainage performance. As a composite product, Swamp Grid™ works to effectively stabilize saturated soils that are susceptible to piping and prevent loss of imported granular material into the soft subgrade. During construction this geogrid composite product serves as a working platform with a lift of granular material placed above it, preventing the mixing of the fine-grained subgrade and the granular material. 

During service life, Swamp Grid™ provides  reinforcement  through lateral restraint and confinement. This prevents minimizing of the subgrade and pumping of fines by acting as a foundation mattress and facilitating proper compaction of the granular layer. 

Swamp Grid™ is the ideal design solution for: 

  • Infrastructure construction on sites with saturated soil conditions; and  
  • Infrastructure construction that must sustain frequent and heavy equipment travel such as haul roads. 


Benefits of Swamp Grid™ 

  • Reduces amount of aggregate required up to 40% = construction cost savings.  
  • Reduces number of trucks required to haul aggregate = lower carbon footprint   will help meet your decarbonization and sustainability strategy standards.  
  • Reduces soil excavation and backfilling = construction cost savings.  
  • Minimizes differential settlement and prevents upward movement of the subgrade = higher structural performance.  
  • Improves overall structural life = maintenance cost savings.  
  • Improves drainage = maintenance cost savings. 


Site Specific Solutions & Comprehensive Service  

While Swamp Grid™ is commonly specified for haul roads and base stabilization projects, Titan offers a range of product solutions designed for soil stabilization and reinforcement. We work closely with project owners and consultants to evaluate site specific problems and help you choose the best solution for your project.  

Our FREE pre-design service for geogrid applications provides first-class customized design support helping to save you time on infrastructure, site development and geotechnical projects. 

FREE Pre-Design Request: Titan Geogrid Foundation Support Application 

FREE Pre-Design Request: Unpaved Roads – Base Reinforcement Application 


Let’s Work Together 

If you’re interested in connecting about a current or future project, simply give us a call or request a consultation using the form below. 

 If you already know your project requirements, click here to get a quote! 

Our top priority is your project’s success.