This paper presents the results from an economic and environmental feasibility study on photovoltaic PV and wind technologies for a community of 200 homes in Superior, CO. The electrical load profile assumed for the community, the solar resources available, and the wind resources are defined. Specific PV modules and wind turbines are identified. A simulation model was created in HOMER software and the specific model assumptions and reasoning presented. The results of the simulation show that the baseline scenario of grid electricity use is the best economic decision under the status quo system parameters. However, it is shown through sensitivity analyses and requirements for specific levels of renewable energy use, that the best possible system for the community should not be evaluated solely on the status quo economic parameters. PV is shown to be the best renewable technology to consider while wind energy proves to be a poor choice for the specific location of the community. Emissions of CO2 and other pollutants are greatly reduced under the recommended system design.

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