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3203ENG Renewable Energy Systems

Question:

Task

This assignment requires an energy analysis and a financial analysis on a grid-connected solar PV plant. You are required to do the analysis using the RETScreen energy analysis software. Solutions to the problems will be assessed on: (1) methodology (2) assumptions (3) clarity of solution presented (4) correct answers (5) use of software.

The situation
You have been asked to investigate and report on the annual electricity production, cost of electricity and financial viability of a proposed grid connected solar PV power plant. The plant is to have a capacity of 5 MW and will be located near the town of Richmond in Western Queensland, Australia. The nearest weather station is at Richmond and the weather data from that station is applicable to conditions at the proposed site for the solar PV plant.

Site information
The site, located near Richmond, Queensland, Australia has an unrestricted solar exposure. All modules can be oriented due north and the land area is sufficient to allow the modules to be positioned so that there are no shading issues to consider. The modules will be installed at 
a fixed tilt and the array tilt has to be selected to maximise the annual energy generation by the power plant. High quality mono-crystalline silicon modules have been selected for the project and they feed their output into the grid via inverters and a transformer. The modules are to be supplied by Sunpower. The model number is mono-Si-SPR-230-WHT with an efficiency of 18.5 % (as given in the RETScreen product database). The modules will be connected into strings such that the number of modules per string will comply with the voltage input range of the inverters. Further details on the solar PV modules can be obtained from the manufacturer’s website and from the RETScreen product database. 250 kW capacity inverters will be used and these inverters can accommodate multi-input strings. MPP trackers will be used on all inverters. An inverter efficiency (including the transformer losses) of 92 % can be assumed over a wide operating range.

Financial Information
The project life is 25 years.

Assume the PV modules will last 25 years (project life) and the inverters will be replaced every 10 years. Take the inflation rate as 2.8 % and use a discount rate of 9.5 % for your NPV calculations. The project will be financed with 50 % debt paid off over fifteen years and the interest rate on debt is 7.5%.There is government incentive of $250,000 for the project. The company has been able to negotiate an initial electricity feed-in price of $140 per MWh for the energy supplied to the grid. This price will be increased by 2.5 % per year over the 25 years of the project’s life.
For the tax analysis, assume a tax rate of 30%. Straight line depreciation is applied to the capital equipment over the 25 years of the project’s life. 

Your Task

Prepare a RETScreen study report of the proposed grid-connected power supply system. Complete Steps 1 to 4 of the RETScreen analysis. You are not required to do the risk analysis step.

In your analysis:

(a) Determine the array tilt for maximum annual energy production.

(b) Determine the number of modules required.

(c) Use Method 2 to do the Energy model analysis

(d) Use Method 1 for the Cost analysis

(e) Use Method 2 for the Emissions (greenhouse gas) analysis

(f) Complete the financial analysis. 

Summarise the RETScreen analysis to clearly present:

1. The annual amount of electricity generated.
2. The array tilt.
3. The capacity factor of the plant.
4. The installed cost of the plant expressed as $ per kWp of installed capacity.
5. The payback period for the project.
6. The NPV of the project, before and after taxes.
7. Is this project financially viable?
8. The cost of electricity.

9. The avoided GHG emissions compared with the same electricity production from the current electricity supply system. Include the printouts from RETScreen as part of your report – one printout of each of the relevant worksheets should be included.

3203ENG Renewable Energy Systems

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