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Sustainable Wind Power Plant Modernization
Open AccessArticle

Energy, Economic, and Environmental Evaluation of a Proposed Solar-Wind Power On-grid System Using HOMER Pro®: A Case Study in Colombia

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Mechanical Engineering Department, Universidad del Atlántico, Carrera 30 Número 8-49, Puerto Colombia, Barranquilla 080007, Colombia
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Research Group on Sustainable Chemical and Biochemical Processes, Chemical Engineering Department, Universidad del Atlántico, Carrera 30 Número 8-49, Puerto Colombia, Barranquilla 080007, Colombia
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Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department, Universidad del Norte, Km 5 Vía Puerto Colombia, Barranquilla 080007, Colombia
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Energy Department, Universidad de la Costa, Calle 58 Número 55- 66, Barranquilla 080002, Colombia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2020, 13(7), 1662; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13071662
Received: 17 March 2020 / Revised: 28 March 2020 / Accepted: 29 March 2020 / Published: 2 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources)
The electrical sector in the Caribbean region of Colombia is currently facing problems that affect its reliability. Many thermo-electric plants are required to fill the gap and ensure energy supply. This paper thus proposes a hybrid renewable energy generation plant that could supply a percentage of the total energy demand and reduce the environmental impact of conventional energy generation. The hybrid plant works with a photovoltaic (PV) system and wind turbine systems, connected in parallel with the grid to supply a renewable fraction of the total energy demand. The investigation was conducted in three steps: the first stage determined locations where the energy system was able to take advantage of renewable sources, the second identified a location that could work more efficiently from an economic perspective, and finally, the third step estimated the number of PV solar panels and wind turbines required to guarantee optimal functioning for this location using, as a main method of calculation, the software HOMER pro® for hybrid optimization with multiple energy resources. The proposed system is expected to not only limit environmental impacts but also decrease total costs of electric grid consumption from thermoelectric plants. The simulations helped identify Puerto Bolivar, Colombia, as the location where the hybrid plant made the best use of non-conventional resources of energy. However, Rancho Grande was found to offer the system more efficiency, while generating a considerable amount of energy at the lowest possible cost. An optimal combination was also obtained—441 PV arrays and 3 wind turbines, resulting in a net present cost (NPC) of $11.8 million and low CO2 production of 244.1 tons per year. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar energy; wind energy; energy efficiency; environmental impact; economic evaluation; on-grid system; HOMER Pro software solar energy; wind energy; energy efficiency; environmental impact; economic evaluation; on-grid system; HOMER Pro software
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MDPI and ACS Style

Antonio Barrozo Budes, F.; Valencia Ochoa, G.; Obregon, L.G.; Arango-Manrique, A.; Ricardo Núñez Álvarez, J. Energy, Economic, and Environmental Evaluation of a Proposed Solar-Wind Power On-grid System Using HOMER Pro®: A Case Study in Colombia. Energies 2020, 13, 1662.

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