Estimates of Sales Revenue for Six Prospective PV Generation Sites


This final report from the Carnegie Mellon University Capstone Solar Project team presents the findings from the team’s decision-making tool developed to rank sites for large solar arrays by their potential sales revenue.

The team applied this tool to available data for price of electricity, incoming solar radiation (or “insolation”), temperature and distance from the area where this generated electricity will be used, which is referred to as load, for six sites within Australia.   This showed the sites in South Australia at Adelaide and Olympic Dam have the greatest prospectivity.

Analysis of the results reveals that it is the time-related combination of high price (allowing for load factors) and high insolation that determines the best sites. While the perception might be that sunny Queensland is likely to generate more revenue, the timing of the high insolation, during the winter when energy demand is relatively low, means South Australian sites are superior.

This report shows other ways in which the model can be used, applying it firstly to optimise the cleaning and maintenance of PV arrays and, secondly, as a potential on-line decision-making tool.

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