Graduation Date

Spring 2018

Document Type

Project

Program

Master of Science degree with a major in Environmental Systems, option Energy, Technology, and Policy

Committee Chair Name

Arne Jacobson

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Steven Hackett

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Peter Alstone

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories

Environmental Systems

Abstract

Public lands owned by the Bureau of Land Management are increasingly being used for photovoltaic (PV) system development. Although numerous policies support PV deployment on public lands, those managed by the Bureau of Reclamation have not been considered for PV development. Hydro-electric embankment dams, both publicly and privately owned, may have the potential to be development sites for distributed PV systems. A technical feasibility report was conducted for a case study of a PV installation on Trinity Dam, Trinity County, CA, and found embankment dams could potentially be feasible development sites. A mounting analysis found that a concrete slab reinforced with rebar could be used to mount a PV array on Trinity Dam. A nominal 1 MW-dc PV system was designed and used to determine lifetime system production and to conduct the economic analysis. The hypothetical system at the Trinity Dam site is estimated to have a lifetime energy production of approximately 30 GWh and would displace about 8,000 metric tons of CO2-equivalent. Non-profit and private ownership scenarios were considered to estimate the economic feasibility of a 1MW-dc distributed PV system on Trinity Dam. System costs and benefits were calculated and analyzed for a 25-year investment. A life cycle cost assessment found that a non-profit system connected behind the meter for on-site consumption would have a levelized cost of energy of $0.056/kWh, a discounted payback period of 8.7 years, and an internal rate of return of 9%. A privately owned system would produce a levelized cost of energy of $0.04/kWh, a discounted payback period of 4.9 years, and an internal rate of return of 16%. Based on the LCCA for a 1 MW-dc system on Trinity Dam, it is recommended that a non-profit or private investment could be economically beneficial if the system was installed behind the meter to serve on-site loads under the PG&E E-19 rate tariff. In a front of the meter PPA contract scenario, a non-profit investment would have a DPB of more than 25 years and a private investment would have a DPB of 16.2 years. Therefore, an investment in a front of the meter system for Trinity Dam is not recommended unless a higher PPA rate can be negotiated with the utility.

Citation Style

APA

Share

 
COinS