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Title:Solar Farm 2.0 Generation & Economic Analysis
Author(s):Valdivieso, Yasir
Contributor(s):Gross, George
Economic Analysis
Generation Analysis
Single Axis Trackng
Abstract:In 2020, we are starting to feel the unseen consequences of pollution. For more than a decade, countries around the world have been sensitized to the environment and have been taking progressive measures with the aim to reduce CO2 emissions. The University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign (UIUC) has demonstrated its commitment to the environment in 2015 when it issued the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP), which set the goal to reach the carbon free status by 2050. As a step to meet that goal, UIUC signed in 2019 a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the developer Sol System to design, build, operate and maintain the Solar Farm 2.0 project during the first 20 years. The UIUC has designated 54-acres of land for the sitting of the PV plant to be installed by Sol Systems. The developer proposed to install the solar panels with a total capacity of 12.1 MWDC. The overall project is on track to be completed by the end of 2020. The objective of this work is to perform an estimate of the production and the economic and environmental impacts of the Solar Farm 2.0. Production is estimated for both a non-tracking and a single axis tracking system based on historical irradiation data for Illinois and Solar Farm 1.0. In the economic analysis we determined: which of the two systems is more profitable for the developer based on the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), the energy savings of the UIUC and the reduction of CO2 emissions thanks to the production of the PV plant. Due to the uncertainty that reigns in 2020 on the world scene due to the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus, we consider sensitivity cases in the most vulnerable parameters in order to evaluate the impact of scenarios more unfavorable than the nominal on the project. Our studies indicate that Solar Farm 2.0 will produce between 14,574 and 19,521 MWh annually. In this way, UIUC will be able to save up to 14,445.45 metric tons of CO2 emissions, which represents the 4% of the total CO2 emissions produced by the UIUC utility system; and save approximately $250,000 in the energy bill after the first year of operation of the plant.
Issue Date:2020-05
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-06-12

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