In recent years, spatial multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) has been applied to different types of spatial problems, such as solar power site suitability. MCDA can be used to support the process of identifying suitable regions for solar energy projects. To the best of our knowledge, no study has addressed the problem of site evaluation for solar photovoltaic PV systems in the Riyadh region. Therefore, a spatial MCDA framework is proposed to perform a geospatial analysis of solar energy in the Riyadh region, which includes data collection, spatial analysis, a spatial decision support system and visualization. The methodology that was used to solve the site suitability problem is described. It involved the combination of a Geographical Information System (GIS) and the Analytic Hierarchy Process (GIS-AHP). The results show that the most suitable sites are in the north and northwest of the Riyadh region, with an area that represents 16,748 Km2
with an 80% suitability degree. In addition, it was proven that Afif is the largest suitable city. It has high solar radiation, at an average of 2.631687 MWh/m2
/year, and low temperatures, at an average of 26.3 °C, as well as having flat areas with a slope under 5°. The results were validated using a sensitivity analysis model and also compared with those for ground-based stations.
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