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Energies 2017, 10(5), 686; doi:10.3390/en10050686

Assessment of Large Scale Photovoltaic Power Generation from Carport Canopies

1
Electrical Engineering Deparment, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80204, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
2
King Salman ben Abdulaziz Chair for Energy Research, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80204, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia, A.S.Bahaj@soton.ac.uk
3
Energy & Climate Change Divisions, Sustainable Energy Research Group, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francesco Calise
Received: 15 March 2017 / Revised: 4 May 2017 / Accepted: 5 May 2017 / Published: 13 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sources)

Abstract

Reliance on fossil fuel-driven energy supply is a major contributor to global emissions. In order to stay within the Paris Agreement’s temperature rise limits, current and growing energy consumption will need to be significantly underpinned by deployment of low/non-carbon power generation. This work promotes power generation at the megawatt scale from solar photovoltaics (PV) systems deployed in untapped car parking areas, which are estimated to represent up to ~6.6% of the urban footprint within cities. The methodology developed is globally applicable to support PV development, including site selection and PV array configuration. It is underpinned by a case study in a university campus, which has a similar footprint as assigned in cities for vehicle parking. The methodology demonstrates that less than 1% of the available parking spaces are affected by shadows from surrounding buildings or vegetation. The work shows that by utilising such parking areas within the selected campus a PV installation with a capacity of ~36.4 MWp, which can generate ~66.2 GWh of electricity annually, would be feasible. Financial analysis based on multiple scenarios indicates that a 50% return on investment is achievable over 25 years at an export tariff of USD ¢4.5/kWh, which is commensurate with the latest granted bids for a similar export tariff. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable energy; solar photovoltaics; geographic information systems; PV carport; resource assessments; Saudi Arabia sustainable energy; solar photovoltaics; geographic information systems; PV carport; resource assessments; Saudi Arabia
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Alghamdi, A.S.; Bahaj, A.S.; Wu, Y. Assessment of Large Scale Photovoltaic Power Generation from Carport Canopies. Energies 2017, 10, 686.

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