A brand new report by IEA PVPS Activity 18 offers a blueprint information on methods to conduct feasibility research for off-grid and edge-of-grid energy techniques. The optimum system dimension and specs fluctuate relying on the consumer’s priorities. The specified venture outcomes might be recognized utilizing pure monetary evaluation (NPV, IRR) or moreover taking environmental efficiency into consideration.
Off-grid and edge-of-grid energy techniques have elevated in prevalence and complexity over the previous a number of a long time as the price of photo voltaic PV, and now vitality storage, has dropped considerably. With the maturation of the off-grid and edge-of-grid energy market, traders have additionally turn into extra savvy. Thus, it’s crucial to grasp methods to plan a venture that meets the wants of the asset proprietor, the top customers and all different stakeholders. Whereas the kind of evaluation usually focuses totally on venture economics, you will need to think about social, behavioral and environmental elements as nicely.
A report developed by IEA PVPS Task 18, goals to offer steering to stakeholders who’re concerned within the design and growth of off-grid photovoltaic (PV) initiatives by offering a complete information to feasibility research. It’s meant for use as a reference instrument throughout the early levels of planning and decision-making processes for such initiatives.
All feasibility research are totally different; each venture develops in a novel context that consists of various areas, stakeholders, web site circumstances, goals, constraints, and alternatives. Sadly, there have been many examples of well-meaning however poorly thought-about initiatives which have partially or wholly did not ship on their promise and/or potential. The explanations for these failures are many and various however, in lots of instances, might be attributed to errors and misunderstandings within the preliminary feasibility part of the venture.
In keeping with the Activity 18 report, the important thing steps concerned in conducting a feasibility research are:
· Identification of venture aims: This part offers steering on methods to have interaction with venture stakeholders to establish the fascinating outcomes of the venture. These outcomes could also be monetary, social and/or environmental.
· Website Choice and Useful resource Evaluation: This part offers steering on methods to choose an appropriate web site for an off-grid PV venture and methods to assess its photo voltaic useful resource potential. It highlights the significance of correct climate information and photo voltaic radiation measurements, and offers steering on methods to conduct on-site measurements.
· System Design: This part offers steering on methods to design an off-grid PV system that meets the venture’s aims and web site constraints. It covers key design concerns similar to system sizing, element choice, and system reliability.
· Monetary Evaluation: This part offers steering on methods to conduct a monetary evaluation of an off-grid PV venture, together with cost-benefit evaluation, money circulate evaluation, and venture financing choices.
A case research is offered within the report from a distant indigenous-owned and operated cattle station positioned 10 km from the grid in Australia’s Northern Territory (NT). This cattle station is powered by a diesel technology system. The consumer on this case research required a feasibility evaluation to resolve whether or not to proceed powering the positioning enterprise as ordinary (BAU), connect with the grid, or improve the ability system to a PV / BESS / Diesel Hybrid. Moreover, if the feasibility research signifies it’s helpful to put in a standalone hybrid energy station, the Consumer might want to understand how totally different system designs (i.e. smaller vs. bigger techniques) will affect the financial, social and environmental venture outcomes.
The consumer needs to:
· Maximise monetary returns
· Enhance energy system reliability
· Minimise operational value volatility
· Enhance environmental sustainability
Utilizing these design standards, the case research seeks to grasp whether or not the consumer ought to stay BAU, connect with the grid or develop a PV / BESS / Diesel Hybrid system. The case research goes on to develop a full load and provide profile evaluation and assigns the suitable capital expenditure (Capex) and operational expenditure (Opex) to every choice.
The output metrics can then be considered in numerous methods so as to exhibit to the consumer the trade-offs that may be made between the recognized design standards. The feasibility research (and thus the case research) make the most of contour (aka topological) graphs for multivariant evaluation. For instance, if the consumer wished to optimize primarily based on Internet Current Worth (NPV) and Inner Price of Return (IRR) by various the BESS dimension and the PV System dimension, the next graph demonstrates these relationships.
The place the black-dotted contour traces characterize unfavorable NPV, the black-solid contour traces characterize constructive NPV and the purple contour traces characterize IRR. Given this multivariant evaluation, the optimization might be positioned the place NPV and IRR are best and that is proven utilizing the blue dot.
The above optimization is only monetary, nevertheless, if the consumer wished to view an environmental metric because the Renewable Vitality Fraction (REF) which represents the quantity of vitality provided from a renewable supply as a proportion of complete vitality provide, versus a monetary metric similar to NPV, the next contour graph might be used.
It may be seen that deciding on a special optimization criterion will change the specified BESS and Photo voltaic PV system sizes.
The IEA PVPS Activity 18 report exhibits how stakeholder engagement and multivariant, multi-criteria optimization can be utilized to search out one of the best outcomes for the venture. Total, the report offers a complete information to conducting feasibility research for off-grid PV initiatives, offering stakeholders with the instruments and knowledge essential to make knowledgeable choices all through the planning and growth course of.
This text is a part of a month-to-month column by the IEA PVPS programme. It was contributed by IEA PVPS Activity 18 – Off-Grid and Edge-of-Grid PV Techniques. Additional data might be present in Activity 18’s current report: Blueprint on methods to conduct feasibility research on off-grid and edge-of-grid energy techniques.
By Christopher Martell, GSES, Australia