The Viability of Installing Mid-Size PV Solar Parks in Sweden : "A paper that evaluates the economic viability of installing mid-size PV solar parks ranging from 250 kW to 2 MW in the village of Åled."
Abstract: The ambition of the Swedish government is rapidly concentrating on the development of the renewable energy systems especially on wind energy, bio energy and solar energy. It has been observed on the growth of the production of electricity and heat from these three mentioned renewable energy systems. But, relatively in Sweden the share of production of electricity obtained from PV is quite smaller than the other two. The PV electricity production in Sweden comprises in a large scale of mainly the grid connected distributed PV systems and with a small number of installed solar parks. The aim of this paper is to analyze the viability of installing mid -size PV solar parks in Sweden and to simulate the effect of the proposed project in the village’s (Åled is the village where the proposed site is located) and the country’s electricity production. This study includes designing, simulation and financial analysis of different grid connected centralized mid -size capacities of PV solar parks of 250 kWp,500 kWp,1MWp and 2MWp. They are all fixed ground mounted systems. Moreover, it also discusses the main reasons that hinders decision makers, the PV complications that are connected to the grid, Sweden’s energy regulations particularly the emission regulation and the financial policies of PV. Also, study visit, telephone and email contacts have supplemented it. This study was done with the collaboration of Nyedal Solenergi, in which the proposed site was owned by the company and this paper will be a future guide for the investment of the mid-size PV solar park. According to the study a discussion has been made with the grid supplier (EON) in that area on the investment on one of the designed projects which are presented in this paper. The results of the study show that the effect of the proposed systems on the production of electricity in the village of Åled was between 2.68 – 21.4 % and the impact on the country’s PV electricity production was 0.2 – 1.58 %. And, the possibility of installing mid-size PV solar parks generally in Sweden particularly in the proposed site is possible and economically it is viable but not profitable for system capacities less than 1 MW. As the IRR found for all capacities is greater than the estimated WACC, hence each proposed capacity has the possibility of paying back all its investment costs in about 23 years. So, the profitability is very low in case of the 250 kWp and 500 kWp but for the others they have about 7-8 years of profitability. A sensitivity analysis also has shown the impact of initial investment costs, O & M costs and electricity export rate on the IRR, NPV and equity payback. The initial investment cost and electricity export rate were seen with high effect on the IRR, NPV and equity payback. The LCOE calculated was higher than the average electricity spot price (300 SEK/MWh) for 250 kWp and 500 kWp but lower for the other two capacities. The overall impact for the financial analysis was due to the decreasing of module prices, the rules that changes every year on electricity subsidies for renewables, tax reductions and rapid decreasing of electricity spot prices. In the future if the price of modules continues decreasing, spot price increases, more modification of the subsidy and introduction of new PV technologies integrated with other sources of energy is done then such projects could be more profitable.
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