Feasibility of City-Scale Solar Power Plants Using Public Buildings: Case Studies of Newark and Wilmington Delaware with Early Investigations of Bifacial Solar Modules and Dual Orientation Racking as Tools for City-Scale Solar Development

82 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2019 Last revised: 5 Feb 2020

See all articles by John Byrne

John Byrne

University of Delaware - Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP)

Joseph Nyangon, Ph.D.

Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP), University of Delaware

Steven Hegedus

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Institute of Energy Conversion (IEC), University of Delaware

Michael Chajes

University of Delaware's Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP)

Job Taminiau

Foundation for Renewable Energy & Environment

Nuha Ahmed

University of Delaware's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Institute of Energy Conversion (IEC)

Nick DiNardo

University of Delaware - Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP); University of Delaware's Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE)

Pengyu Li

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP), University of Delaware

Jing Xu

University of Delaware - Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP)

Date Written: June 2, 2019

Abstract

Installed rooftop solar PV generation in the U.S. has grown rapidly to meet the increasing electricity demand, reduce reliance on expensive fossil fuel, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. According to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the U.S. topped 2 million solar PV installations in 2019, hitting a milestone previously reached only by two countries — Australia in 2018 and Japan in 2014. Delaware, for example, average solar electricity consumption increased at a compound growth rate of 138% from 2010-2016. Some of the factors contributing to this dramatic growth of solar power include the declining cost of solar equipment, installation, and operation and maintenance (O&M) which make investment in rooftop PV attractive for municipal and state buildings, universities, colleges, K-12 schools, and hospitals (often abbreviated as MUSH). Although investment opportunities in urban rooftop PV in privately-owned residential and commercial buildings have also grown significantly in Delaware, as consumers seek greater control of their energy use, MUSH buildings provide the most attractive PV investment potential due to their public function and better institutional capacity. This report describes our findings for research conducted with the support of the Delaware General Assembly — Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) Services Program in 2018-2019. The analysis for both Wilmington Solar City Plant (SCP) and Newark SCP has identified a priority buildingscape with significant solar technical potential. The results of a direct purchase option analysis assuming a utility-scale opportunity, show feasible PV system deployment at 9.68 cents/kWh for both cities. Current average retail costs for electricity in the two cities are greater than 14 cents/kWh.

Keywords: Urban Energy, Solar Energy, Photovoltaics, Data Analysis, LiDAR Analysis, HelioScope Modeling, SAM Analysis, Delaware

JEL Classification: Q41, Q53, R11, R12, Q55, O33

Suggested Citation

Byrne, John and Nyangon, Joseph and Hegedus, Steven and Chajes, Michael and Taminiau, Job and Ahmed, Nuha and DiNardo, Nicholas and Li, Pengyu and Xu, Jing, Feasibility of City-Scale Solar Power Plants Using Public Buildings: Case Studies of Newark and Wilmington Delaware with Early Investigations of Bifacial Solar Modules and Dual Orientation Racking as Tools for City-Scale Solar Development (June 2, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3397772 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3397772

John Byrne

University of Delaware - Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP)

Graham Hall
Newark, DE 19716
United States

Joseph Nyangon (Contact Author)

Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP), University of Delaware ( email )

278 Graham Hall
Newark, DE 19716
United States

Steven Hegedus

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Institute of Energy Conversion (IEC), University of Delaware ( email )

University of Delaware
Newark DE, DE 19716
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://iec.udel.edu

Michael Chajes

University of Delaware's Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP) ( email )

Graham Hall
Newark, DE 19716
United States

Job Taminiau

Foundation for Renewable Energy & Environment ( email )

New York
New York, NY 10111
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://freefutures.org

Nuha Ahmed

University of Delaware's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Institute of Energy Conversion (IEC) ( email )

University of Delaware
Newark DE, DE 19716
United States

Nicholas DiNardo

University of Delaware - Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP) ( email )

Graham Hall
Newark, DE 19716
United States

University of Delaware's Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) ( email )

Graham Hall
Newark, DE 19716
United States

Pengyu Li

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP), University of Delaware ( email )

278 Graham Hall
Newark, DE 19716
United States

Jing Xu

University of Delaware - Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP) ( email )

Graham Hall
Newark, DE 19716
United States

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