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Research Papers

A Feasibility Study of the Use of Solar Photovoltaic Energy in Saudi Arabia: A Case Study Assessment in a Factory in Zulfi City

[+] Author and Article Information
Yosry A. Azzam

Department of Computer Science,
College of Science in Zulfi,
Majmaah University,
Majmaah 11952, Saudi Arabia;
National Research Institute of Astronomy
and Geophysics (NRIAG),
Cairo 11421, Egypt
e-mail: y.azzam@mu.edu.sa

Nagwa Ibrahim

Department of Physics,
College of Science and Arts in Oyoon Aljuwa,
Qassim University,
Oyoon Aljuwa 51412, Saudi Arabia

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received December 4, 2017; final manuscript received March 1, 2018; published online April 13, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Geoffrey T. Klise.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 140(4), 041013 (Apr 13, 2018) (11 pages) Paper No: SOL-17-1478; doi: 10.1115/1.4039551 History: Received December 04, 2017; Revised March 01, 2018

Few studies have been implemented to evaluate whether the renewable energy generation could fit into industrial locations in Saudi Arabia. We completed this feasibility study to investigate whether using photovoltaic (PV) solar arrays to power industrial cities at Saudi Arabia is economically feasible. The case study is a factory in Zulfi city, Riyadh Region. We used National Renewable Energy Laboratory's modeling tool, system advisor model (SAM) to evaluate the economic benefits of using a 150 kW DC PV system to cover 100% of the factory monthly power demand. Over 25 years, the system is estimated to generate about 6,000,000 kWh of electricity whose net savings are $398,000 (1 US$ is equal to about 3.75 Saudi Riyals) represented by a discounted cash flow. The proposed system will save the factory around $304,000 that would have to be paid in electric bills and will eliminate considerable amount of CO2 emissions. Sensitivity analysis has been conducted to determine the effects of underlying parameters on the economic feasibility of the proposed system. Levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) generated and net present value (NPV) are used as indicators of proposed system feasibility. The results indicate that these projects can be profitable under some certain assumptions and can potentially be generalized for all industrial locations in Saudi Arabia.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Saudi Arabia global horizontal irradiation data. Source: Solar GIS maps of global horizontal irradiation.

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Fig. 2

Development of total available capacity during 2000–2015. Source: Saudi electricity company (2015).

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Fig. 3

Daily horizontal solar radiation in Zulfi city (RETScreen)

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Fig. 4

Global weighted average of solar PV total installed costs, 2009–2025. Source: International renewable energy agency (IRENA), 2016.

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Fig. 5

(a) Monthly and (b) annual energy production

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Fig. 6

After tax cash flow-system lifetime

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Fig. 7

Monthly generated energy and load

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Fig. 8

First year hourly data of electricity to/from grid and system electricity load

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Fig. 9

The effect of real discount rate on the values of NPV and LCOE

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Fig. 10

The effect of analysis period on the values of NPV and LCOE

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Fig. 11

The combination effect of debt percent and loan rate on NPV and LCOE

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Fig. 12

The combination effect of debt percent with loan rate and analysis period of 26 years

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Fig. 13

Differential effect of electricity sell rate with other underlying parameters

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