The solar division at Mortenson has announced a partnership with Orteco, an Italian-based OEM, to develop robotic equipment to advance the construction of solar energy installations. The new GPS-enabled pile distribution system can operate autonomously to precisely position piles across utility-scale solar sites during construction.
The new autonomous pile distribution system allows Mortenson to redirect its workforce to other critical tasks while expediting the completion of the initial phases of a solar energy project. The machine can free up to 80% of the craft workforce traditionally required to survey and mark pile distribution points across a utility-scale solar site and deliver piles to each location. As the project workforce focuses on subsequent tasks, the autonomous pile distribution system, which holds up to 100 steel piles at a time, can begin to place piles in exact positions in preparation for the pile driving process.
Mortenson is also a leader in using semi-automated pile driving technology in solar energy construction, a process that requires approximately 50% of the workforce compared to traditional pile driving methods common in the industry today.
When used together, the autonomous pile distribution system and semi-automated pile driving machines help reduce cost and risk of injuries, free much-needed workers for other critical construction tasks, and decreases the overall time of delivering solar installations.
“Solar energy is a highly competitive business, and we are committed to leveraging emerging technologies to accelerate a clean energy future,” said Trent Mostaert, vice president of industrialization at Mortenson. “Smartly deploying our available workforce on the right aspects of a project and utilizing industry-leading technology to improve safety and performance in other areas makes this a reality.”
Mortenson has been on a transformational journey for several years now, committed to developing and utilizing new technologies and processes once thought to be impossible, to build new renewable energy projects faster, safer, and more cost effectively. The autonomous pile distribution system is a second-generation design of the technology advancements Mortenson is helping to create to meet these goals.
“The solar industry is rapidly maturing and set to experience a massive influx of new investment and growth of over 500% over the next few years. At Mortenson, we are preparing to take these challenges head-on and recognize that a true sign of the growing maturity and sophistication of an industry is the development of specialized equipment specifically designed for the needs of the industry,” said Eric Grenz, vice president and general manager of Mortenson’s Solar business.
“Orteco is proud to have partnered with Mortenson for the design of this innovative machine. We thank the Mortenson team for the strong collaboration and for the continued opportunities to work together. We recognize significant growth within the American market and look forward to continuing our development of existing and new products and look to the future with plans and confidence. The renewable energy market is expected to keep on growing as a result of the current worldwide scenario. Orteco, with its partners including Equitec Innovation, our distributor for the U.S. and Canada, will continue to take up the challenge to design and build machines that meet our client’s needs for performance, safety and autonomy,” said Gianluca Pellegrini CEO, Orteco – S.R.L.
Both the autonomous pile distribution system and semi-automated pile driving machine are in-use on current Mortenson projects in the United States.
News item from Mortenson