Where are the best places to develop a solar plant in BC. What are opportunities for the First Nations? The graph shows the expected energy yield of solar systems installed near weather stations – usually airport where we can find reliable solar data. It highlights also First Nations with good solar development opportunities.
The units are in kWh per kWp installed (the amount of energy produced per unit of power installed or in short the capacity factor in hours per year).
In this case, it is assumed that the system is installed on trackers which can boost significantly the energy output. Cranbrook, Kimberley (site of SunMine, the first large scale solar power plant in BC) and the Kootenays have exceptional solar energy (In the four best solar sites in Canada). Anything above 1,500 hr is quite good and better than Germany. Haida Gwaii is a special case it has lower solar energy level but the island relies on diesel genset that has higher costs of producing electricity -making solar potentially cost-competitive.
Solar energy yield of optimized solar system in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada with a P95 exceedance probability.
The maps represent the annual energy yield in kWh per kWp of a PV solar system installed on various mounting option: 2-axis (full) Tracker, Vertical Axis Tracker (VAT), and Fixed racking. Continue reading Solar Energy Yield. Saskatchewan & Manitoba.
Solar energy yield of optimized solar system in Alberta and BC, Canada with a P95 exceedance probability.
The maps represent the annual energy yield in kWh per kWp of a PV solar system installed on various mounting option: 2-axis (full) Tracker, Vertical Axis Tracker (VAT), and Fixed racking. Continue reading Solar Energy Map of Alberta & BC, Canada
The Levelized Cost Of Energy (LCOE) is a standard methodology used by utilities, policy-maker, and industry to calculate the cost of electricity produced by a generator over its lifetime. It is the ratio of the initial capital cost plus the present value of all future operational costs (administration, maintenance and fuel) to the present value of all the energy produced during the anticipated lifetime of the project.
For a solar project, the fuel (the sun) is free and without administration costs, the LCOE formula is:
where: LCOE is in $/MWh CapInit = Initial Capital Cost = cost per watt * 106 Mi = Maintenance cost at year i taking into account inflation (cpi) and calculated at mid-year. Mi = mY1 * (1+cpi) (i-0.5) mY1= Maintenance costs $/MW in the first year cpi = Consumer Price Index Ei = Energy produced at year I taking into account annual PV modules derating = enY1 *( 1 – (lid + (dr25 – lid)/lt*(i – 1))) cpw = Cost per Watt ($/Wp) enY1 = Energy produced the first year lid = PV first light induced degradation dr25= PV total derating after 25 years lt = project lifetime PV = present value : PV(x) = x * (1+bnkr) –(i-0.5) calculated at mid-year bnkr = Discount ( or sometimes called bank) rate
The Return on investment (ROI) is a simple, basic financial benchmark: (Total gain from investment – Total cost of investment) / Total cost of Investment.
In the case of a solar plant, the formula is the following:
p = ROI period
TRFi = Tariff of electricity paid at year i
Ei = Energy produced in year i (derated by 20% over 25 years)
The Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) is widely used to define the cost of electricity generation (in $/ MWh) over the life of the solar power plant (typically 25 years)
The LCOE is calculated by dividing the present value of the capital costs + all operating costs over the lifetime of the solar plant by the present value of the electricity generated. Run the LCOE & ROI Calculator
The solar energy map is calculated on data from 235 weather stations across Canada, provided by Environment Canada.
The chart ranks these stations by energy level. It shows the annual energy yield in kWh/a of a 1 kWp system installed on a full-tracker. The units are in kWh/kWp/a or hr/a. (Note: the chart is very large you will need to zoom to view it) The highest ‘hot-spot’ is Pincher Creek in West-Alberta with 2,528 hr/a, the lowest ‘cool-spot’ is Prince Rupert on the BC west coast, with 1,290 hr/a.
Pincher Creek, the hottest spot in Canada is close to Kimberley where EcoSmart is helping develop SunMine, the first large scale solar project in BC.
The South of the Canadian prairies have a huge solar potential.
The highest solar hotspots have energy level at par with Arizona or California, when the temperature effect on the PV efficiency is considered.
The second lowest point (Sandspit on Haida Gwaii) has still comparable solar energy than most places in Germany.
Some solar trackers, in particular the vertical axis and 2-axis, rotate East/West and as a result may shade each other laterally in addition to North South.
Shading can be reduced by spacing the trackers further apart, but this increases the total solar plant area and capital costs (land, cabling, etc,.)
Configuring the layout of a solar farm with trackers to minimize the shading losses and total area is a complex task, often done by trial and error.
EcoSmart uses computer programs developed in-house to optimize shading losses and site area.
EcoSmart has developed a computer program to minimize shading losses and site area. Our program creates numeric data, but we have also developed a graphical interactive simulation to check the results and have made this available to the public. Run this interactive simulation to visualize shading in a field of trackers.