Wind Solar Hybrid Power Project Investigation For Theme Parks A Case Study

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Wind Solar Hybrid Power Project Investigation For Theme Parks A Case Study

  1. 1. Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Project Investigation for Theme Park - A Case study By Govindarajan A Chittaranjan MBA, MSc, MIEEE Based on a high level desktop study 1 and current industry experience the present market growth for wind energy sector in USA has been very encouraging. The U.S. wind energy industry capacity now stands at over 35,159 MW and spans 35 states, with Texas clearly in the lead with almost 10,000 MW. American wind farms will generate an estimated 48 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2008, just over 1% of U.S. electricity supply, the same is estimated at 60 billion kWh in 2009. This remarkable and accelerating growth is driven by strong demand, favorable economics, and a period of welcome relief from the on-again, off-again, boom-and- bust, cycle of the federal production tax credit (PTC) for wind power. However due to the positive variations in the current trend constitutes to an almost exponential growth rate and the future market growth might be even more. The Governmental Policies offer different forms of aids and incentives to encourage the growth rate of the wind energy sector these are evident from the recent RFPs from provincial entities. With the extension of the PTC of up to three years, and other tax incentives and stimulus aids the sector anticipates an exponential demand for wind power. The PTC provides a 1.5 cent-per-kilowatt-hour (kWh) tax credit for electricity generated with wind turbines over the first ten years of a project’s operations, and is a critical factor in financing new wind farms. For projects willing to forgo PTC a Grant of up to 30% of the project’s total cost through the newly introduces Stimulus package is an alternate. With the availability of skilled human resources made surplus due to closure of automotive industries this aspect of the resources is believed to lay in perfect balance. The technical and the capital resources are to be explored at an initial phase in the following sections 1 American Wind Energy Association Figure 1: Wind Power Installations in USA (Picture courtesy: www.awea.com) TECHNICAL FEASIBILITY LOCATION The region under assessment is located in California and consists of over 200 acres of open terrain with a water theme park amusement centre. The region has already been subjected to geotechnical investigation which should be used in further stages in the due diligence and construction phases. WIND RESOURCE The wind Map Figure 2 indicates an annual average wind speed of 6 m/s to 7.5 m/s at 80 m hub height [HH] and hence three wind speeds as indicated in Figure 2 is used to derive the annual wind power density of the region and the energy yields at a Gross Capacity Factor [CF] of 36%, 38% and 42% which are typical of California state. A standard air density of 1.225 kg/m 3 was used as wind power density 2 for the three wind speeds as shown in Table 1. The wind power density [WPD] on an average is between 336 W/m 2 and 517 W/m 2 for these regions. 2 WPD = ½ x ρ x k x V3 where k=2 using Raleigh distribution
  2. 2.  Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Project Investigation for Theme Park - A Case study  Page 2 Figure 2: Wind Speed Map of Proposed Location Based on this it is recommended to install a 1.5 to 1.65 MW wind turbine at 80m HH with 80m rotor diameter, it is recommended that 2 such wind turbines could be installed and the rest of available land could be used to solar energy harvest. Table 1: WPD at various Wind speeds Wind speeds [m/s] Air Density [kg/cub.m] Wind Power Density [W/sq.m] 6.5 1.225 336.42 7 420.18 7.5 516.80 The energy yield estimations for 2 x 1.5 MW turbines depicted in Table 2 uses a 80 m rotor diameter at 80 m HH capable of producing an annual energy yield of 3.14 GWh to 5.64 GWh a detailed wind resource assessment with one year site data and the finalized turbine design should be explored for optimized energy yield to ascertain the site capacity factor. Table 2: Annual Energy Yield at various CFs Wind speeds [m/s] Energy Yield at CF=36% [in GWh] Energy Yield at CF=38% [in GWh] Energy Yield at CF=42% [in GWh] 6.5 3.14 3.32 3.66 7 3.92 4.14 4.58 7.5 4.84 5.1 5.64 [CF = Capacity Factor] Solar Resources Solar energy can be harnesses by: 1. Photo Voltaic – Amorphous silicon, thin film/multi-junction, crystalline – Poly and mono 2. Concentrated PV 3. Concentrated Solar Thermal In this study we will focus on the PV system which uses the semiconductor Silicon to directly convert solar radiations in to electricity. As a thumb rule this energy system can approximately convert 20% of the maximum available energy from the radiations. A site solar radiance is good with an annual average between 5 to 6 kWh/m 2 /day and space available in the site for solar energy harvest would be approximately 800 sq m, after discounting the space for wind turbines, and substation the administration office can be located at the point of access. This could accommodate 564 No x 200 Watts solar panel module of 1.4 sq.m dimensions to form a 112 kW Solar Power Plant which could produce an annual energy yield of 176 MWh at a 17% energy conversion efficiency. The Table 3 depicts an annual energy yield of 176 MWh off 325 sunny days in a year from a maximum of 1125 MWh for the site after appropriate discounts for other facilities.
  3. 3.  Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Project Investigation for Theme Park - A Case study  Page 3 Figure 3: Solar Irradiance Map of Proposed Location The energy conversion efficiency is approximately 17% the inverters achieve an efficiency of 94% to 97% Table 3: Solar Irradiance and Annual Energy Yield Solar irradiance [kWh/m2/Day] Maximum Annual Energy Yield [in MWh] Energy Yield using 200W Poly crystalline PV [MWh] conversion efficiency 5.05 926 176 17% 6.14 1125 The energy conversion is given as η = Pm/(E X A) where Pm is the Maximum Power and E is the input light irradiance in W/m2 and A is the surface area of the solar cell. The cell conversion efficiency by industry standards is 20% in the silicon PV which is acceptable for project estimations, Gallium based cell are expected to achieve over 40% will be available in the market in a commercial scale shortly. Solar Thermals (concentrated or accelerated) is ideally used for water heating & Space heating. COMMERCIAL FEASIBILITY WIND A standard capital cost and annual expenses are depicted in Table 4 indicating installed cost per MW of $1.2 USD. The revenue projected is at a power purchase price at 4.95 cents / kWh in the PTC stream Table 4: Commercial aspects of Wind Project Project Size 3 MW Capital Cost 3600000 USD Annual Energy Yield @ 7m/s wind speeds 4.14 GWh Financing Equity 40% Debt 60% Revenue Annual Gross Revenue [PTC stream] 204930 USD Expenses Distribution [22%] 45085 USD O&M [4%] 144000 USD Management fees & insurance [5%] 10246.5 USD Total Expenses 199331 USD Production Tax Credits 62100 USD Depreciation, Interest and taxes are ignored at this stage An estimated average revenue of $204930 USD in the PTC stream at CF=38% to a average revenue of
  4. 4.  Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Project Investigation for Theme Park - A Case study  Page 4 $271584 USD in the non-PTC Stream at CF=38% is depicted in Table 5. This is just an approximate estimation for the initial phase of this high level study, a detailed study on the commercial aspects should be conducted after executing a PPA. Figure 5 depicts Utility scale wind integration in commercial establishments in large cities. Table 5: Revenue from Wind energy SOLAR A Study by an leasing and lending firm indicates that financing in US for Solar power projects is 5 times more than those in Europe. The design life period of the Solar power system is 25 years against 20 years for the Wind power systems however the initial investments are very high when compared to the wind energy system. On an average a Solar energy system installation costs between 8,000 USD/kW to 10,000 USD / kW hence a larger 112 kW Power plant would cost between 0.4 million USD to 0.7 million USD for the complete system inclusive of 2-axis continuous solar tracker, phase batteries, inverter and pad mounted 125 MVA power transformer. The cost is dependent on technology and equipment chosen. On average the solar capital cost is 5 times the Wind. Figure 4 depicts a typical PV solar farm. The panel modules maintenance costs are very low but have an annual module degradation of 0.5% approximately, the battery maintenances and replacement costs are very high with inverter replacement in 15 th Year. On the whole the system maintenance cost per year is approximately 0.25% of the installation cost. With tax incentives and rebates the energy price at 8.54 to 12.66 cents/kWh for California State would return a payback period of up to 18 years approximately. This is only an indication and a detailed study based on prevailing rates and price. CONCLUSION From the initial assessments it is clear that the site has good wind and solar energy potential. The wind project studies should further be pursued with a full scale wind resource and environmental assessments [SEPA/NEPA], the studies consists of wind speeds and direction distributions, the energy yield and probability of exceedence, site suitability and turbine suitability, EMI and acoustics, shadow flicker and blade glints and other terrain constraints studies if required and studies on flaura & fauna, birds and bats and other protected protocols such as airports, defense and heritage sites. These are mandatory requirements for the permitting process. The process of obtaining the site certificate for wind turbine installation varies from state to state and situations, a federal managed land should have a National rights for the projects and this being a private land permitting from local governing bodies should be Wind Wspeeds w[m/s] Revenue at PPP=$49.5/MWh [with PTC] Revenue at PPP=$65.6/MWh [without PTC] at CF=36% [in USD] at CF=38% [in USD] at CF=42% [in USD] at CF=36% [in USD] at CF=38% [in USD] at CF=42% [in USD] 6.5 155430 164340 181170 205984 217792 240096 7 194040 204930 226710 257152 271584 300448 7.5 239580 252450 279180 317504 334560 369984 Wind- Speed (m/s)
  5. 5.  Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Project Investigation for Theme Park - A Case study  Page 5 the right option, this process usually could take from 3 months to 18 months to obtain the site certificate hence reasonable time frames should be formulated in the plan to avoid further delays. Other resources for the construction phase consisting of turbine availability, heavy machineries availability and human resources are recommended at a later stage. A detailed due diligence on resource and project risks should be conducted. This would also include the commercial aspects such as the CAPEX and OPEX. The capital and expense structure depicted in earlier sections indicate the standard practices and should be used as benchmarks for comparison purpose only. Figure 4: Solar Farm (Picture Courtesy: Treehugger/Science & Technology) The hybrid projects could substantiate energy consumptions of the theme park and could prove a local attraction as in the case of an Australian wind farm. However the load study and respective losses should be further explored in detail as a part of the due diligence process. Figure 5: Wind turbine integration in commercial landscapes (Picture Courtesy: Shell) About The Author: Govindarajan A Chittaranjan is a renewable energy professional with a detailed and long-term experience in the installation, operation and maintenance of wind farms and industrial instrumentation. He has been in industrial instrumentation for over 7 years and has been Unit Head for Operations and Maintenance of Wind Farms for over 9 years with over 5 years in consultancy and has assessed almost 3000 MW of energy yield and over 500 MW in wind farm layout optimizations. He has a sound understanding of both the technical as well as commercial side of wind farm and industrial automation. He has adequate knowledge & experiences in current Mega-Watt class wind turbines, balance of plant equipments, Marketing & Sales. Has done detailed study on wind farm losses, crane investigations and other special projects including US-DoE's >10MW drive train test facility feasibility study and turbine design certifications. He has worked in various projects around the world. Currently working towards a Research program in Renewable Energy

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