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Title:Technical and Financial Feasibility Study for Installation of Solar Panels at IDOT-owned Facilities
Author(s):Rusk, Todd; Siegel, Ryan; Larsen, Linda; Lindsey, Tim; Deal, Brian
Subject(s):Solar Power Generation
Solar Energy
Solar Development
Solar Right-of-Way
Abstract:The Smart Energy Design Assistance Center assessed the administrative, technical, and economic aspects of feasibility related to the procurement and installation of photovoltaic solar systems on IDOT-owned buildings and lands. To address administrative feasibility, we explored three main ways in which IDOT could procure solar projects: power purchase agreement (PPA), direct purchase, and land lease development. Of the three methods, PPA and direct purchase are most applicable for IDOT. While solar development is not free of obstacles for IDOT, it is administratively feasible, and regulatory hurdles can be adequately met given suitable planning and implementation. To evaluate IDOT assets for solar feasibility, more than 1,000 IDOT sites were screened and narrowed using spatial analytic tools. A stakeholder feedback process was used to select five case study sites that allowed for a range of solar development types, from large utility-scale projects to small rooftop systems. To evaluate financial feasibility, discussions with developers and datapoints from the literature were used to create financial models. A large solar project request by IDOT can be expected to generate considerable attention from developers and potentially attractive PPA pricing that would generate immediate cash flow savings for IDOT. Procurement partnerships with other state agencies will create opportunities for even larger projects with better pricing. However, in the near term, it may be difficult for IDOT to identify small rooftop or other small on-site solar projects that are financially feasible. This project identified two especially promising solar sites so that IDOT can evaluate other solar site development opportunities in the future. This project also developed a web-based decision-support tool so IDOT can identify potential sites and develop preliminary indications of feasibility. We recommend that IDOT begin the process of developing at least one of their large sites to support solar electric power generation.
Issue Date:2021-08
Publisher:Illinois Center for Transportation/Illinois Department of Transportation
Citation Info:Rusk, Todd, Ryan Siegel, Linda Larsen, Tim Lindsey, and Brian Deal. 2021. Technical and Financial Feasibility Study for Installation of Solar Panels at IDOT-owned Facilities. A report of the findings of ICT-R27-207. Illinois Center for Transportation Series No. 21-024. Research Report No. FHWA-ICT-21-019. Illinois Center for Transportation, Rantoul, IL.
Genre:Technical Report
Rights Information:No restrictions. This document is available through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-08-02

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