Wind Loads on Utility Scale Solar PV Power Plants

Abstract

The Solar Photovoltaic (PV) industry is experiencing phenomenal growth. Wind loads for ground-mounted PV power plants are often developed by using static pressure coefficients from wind tunnel studies in calculation methods found in ASCE 7. Structural failures of utility scale PV plants are rare events, but some failures have been observed in code-compliant structures.

Many wind loading codes and standards define flexible structures as slender structures that have a fundamental natural frequency less than 1 Hz. This paper demonstrates that this is not a suitable threshold for small structures like ground-mounted arrays of photovoltaic panels because structures this small can experience both self-excitation and buffeting from upwind panels at frequencies well above this value during both serviceability and design wind events.

Introduction

This paper focuses on dynamic effects of wind for large-scale (often referred to as “utility scale”) solar photovoltaic power plants, and can be applied to most ground-mounted PV systems with repetitive rows of solar panels. This topic has relevance increasing in time as the solar industry scales in size and deployment, while continuously striving to drive down cost.

Solar market trends have been studied and the results published by GTM Research (a division of Greentech Media) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). In Figure 1, from U.S. Solar Market Insight 2014 Year-in- Review, the blue bars show the phenomenal growth of the U.S. solar industry from 2005 through 2014. Market forecasts for the next two years are for 12 GigaWatts (GWdc) of installed capacity by the end of 2016. The Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) has been a driving force in attracting investors to kick-start the growth of the solar industry in the U.S. As the ITC and other incentive programs are expected to sunset, the solar industry is keenly focused on driving down

the installed cost of PV systems, with a goal of grid parity without incentives. The descending line in Figure 1 shows the trend in decrease of system price from 2005 to 2014.

Most of the reduction of system price has been a sharp decline in the cost of the power-producing PV modules (panels) themselves. As the cost of modules has decreased dramatically, a great deal of emphasis has been placed on soft cost (the cost of engineering and permitting) and Balance of System (BOS) cost, including the cost of the rack mounting system and foundation (but excluding inverters).

As design engineers have strived to drive down the cost of the rack systems, many manufacturers have engaged wind consultants to model their systems in boundary layer wind tunnels. The products of these studies include more-accurate wind pressure coefficients to be used with procedures in ASCE 7. Economy of design has commonly included optimizing a reduction of steel, with a resulting trend toward structures that are more flexible. Structural failures have been observed in code-compliant ground-mounted rack systems during wind events at wind speeds significantly less than design wind speed. Recent research has been focused on determining the cause of failure in otherwise code-compliant structures and improving estimation of wind loads.

Wind-Loads-on-Utility-Scale-Solar-PV-Power-Plants

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How will GST impact Solar Projects in India

Implications-of-GST-on-delivered-cost-of-Renewable-Energy

Executive summary

Multiple Indirect taxes are currently levied on transactions in India. Some of the taxes are levied and collected by the Central Government, while other taxes are collected by the State Governments. Accordingly, the current Indirect tax regime is beset by myriad problems such as complexity, tax on tax and lack of credit fungibility.

Considering the issues plaguing the current Indirect tax regime, India is gearing up to introduce a comprehensive Indirect tax regime under GST. All existing Indirect taxes, barring a select few, would be subsumed into the new GST.

Taxes on consumption or sale of electricity have been proposed to be kept outside GST. In such case, the electricity generated by renewable sources would continue to be outside the GST regime.

However, taxes on various capital goods, inputs and input services (both forming part of capital cost as well as operation & maintenance costs) used for generation of renewable energy should be subsumed in the GST regime. Taxes paid on procurements would continue to be non-creditable for the energy sector and hence, forming part of costs. Accordingly, any impact of taxes paid on procurements used in renewable energy sector would have a direct impact on cost of renewable energy Basis information available in the public domain on levy of GST, it appears that taxes on procurements for renewable energy sector would go up, which would lead to increase in cost of renewable energy (resulting in negative impact for the sector).

Further, it is imperative to note that the adverse impact of tax cost would vary from project to project (as well as from one source of renewable energy to another) based on the procurement pattern (import vs. domestic purchase) as well as extent of exemptions available currently.

Based on the exercise undertaken, the summary of impact on various types of renewable energy projects is provided below

Source of renewable energy

% range of increase in Levelised Tariff/ cost of setting up and operations (as applicable)

Impact(Good/Bad)

Solar PV – GRID

12% – 16%

 Bad

Solar – off GRID

16%-20%

 Bad

Wind energy projects

11% – 15%

Bad

Wind solar hybrid projects

11%-17%

 Bad

Bio Mass projects

11% – 14%

 Bad

Bio Mass gasifier projects

11%-14%

 Bad

Small Hydro projects

1% – 11%

 Bad

For the bio-fuel sector also, there would be a substantial increase in prices of inputs as well as bio- fuels itself due to pruning of exemptions, removal of statutory forms and increase in rate. Further, any GST charged on bio-fuels would become a cost to the OMCs (as petrol and diesel would be outside GST unless otherwise notified).

Impact on GST on renewable energy sector

The power to legislate is engrafted under Article 246 of the Constitution of India and the various entries in the three lists of the Seventh Schedule are the ‘fields of legislation’ which provide power to the Central and State Government to govern various matters.

To enable levy of GST (which would be under a dual structure), various entries of the Constitution of India are proposed to be amended1/ modified and accordingly, various articles as well as entries of the Seventh Schedule are being subsumed and replaced by Articles enabling the GST implementation.

The power to levy taxes on consumption or sale of electricity has been provided to the State Government vide entry 53 of List II of Seventh Schedule of Constitution. However, such entry is not being subsumed and accordingly taxes on consumption or sale of electricity have been proposed to be kept outside GST. Therefore, the electricity generated by renewable sources would continue to be outside the GST regime and the State Government would have the power to continue to tax the same.

However, Entry 54 which empowers the States to levy tax on sale of goods has been subsumed as part of GST. The term ‘goods’ has been defined in the Constitution as ‘goods include all materials, commodities, and articles’. Given the wide definition of the term ‘goods’, it may be argued that electricity qualifies as ‘good’. This is also supported by judicial precedents and the fact that in various State VAT laws, electricity has been included in the category of ‘exempted goods’. Also, electricity has been mentioned in the Excise Tariff. In light of the discussions, it is possible to consider electricity as goods and accordingly, technically possible to tax electricity under GST (as sale of goods).

Currently, tax on electricity is levied only under Entry 53 and it’s specifically exempted/ excluded from levy under Entry 54.

It may be highlighted that for the purpose of this report has assumed that the same dispensation would continue (ie States would continue to tax electricity as presently under Entry 53 as this Entry has not been subsumed in GST) and that there would be no levy under GST on output electricity although Entry 54 has been subsumed in GST.

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Solar power tariffs close to sub Rs 3 per unit mark

Final Rewa Bidders List:

1. Acme Solar- Rs 2.97 (winner- Unit2)
2. Solenergi Power- Rs 2.974 (winner- Unit3)
3. Mahindra Renewable- Rs 2.979 (winner -Unit1)
4. SBG cleantech- Rs 2.98
5. Enel Green- Rs 2.993
6. Aditya Birla- Rs 3.089
7. AMPL cleantech-Rs 3.133
8. Green Infra- Rs 3.135
9. Hero Solar- Rs 3.142
10. Renew Solar- Rs 3.199
11. Ratan India- Rs 3.21
12. Canadian Solar- Rs 3.213
13. Azure Power- Rs 3.31
14. GDF SUEZ Energy- Rs 3.32
15. ACB limited- Rs 3.37
16. Orange Renewable- Rs 3.47

Rewa ulta mega solar, a 50:50 joint venture of Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Ltd and Solar Energy Corp of India will sell the electricity produced to Madhya Pradesh utilities and Delhi Metro Rail on an open access basis.

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Renewables 2016 Global Status Report

Click Here for the report

average-annual-growth-rate-of-renewable-energy-capacity-and-biofuels-production average-electricity-consumption-per-household bio-power-global-generation biofuels-global-production capital-raised-by-off-grid-companies-in-2015 concentration-solar-power-capacity-2005-2015 countries-with-energy-efficiency-policies-and-targets countries-with-renewable-energy-heating-and-cooling countries-with-renewable-energy-power-policies countries-with-renewable-energy-transport-obligations dre-technologies electricity-intensity-of-service-sector energy-intensity-in-industry energy-intensity-in-transport estimated-share-of-global-electricity-production geothermal-power-capacity-additions geothermal-power-capacity-and-addtions-top-10-countries global-new-investment-in-renewable-energy-by-technology global-new-investment-in-renewable-power-and-fuels global-new-investment-in-renewable-power global-primary-energy-intensity-and-global-primary-energy-demand gsr_figure_ren21_products gsr_figure_rencommunity_2016 hydropower-capacity-and-additions-top-9-countries hydropower-global-capacity jobs-in-renewable-energy market-penetration-of-dre-in-selected-countries market-shares-of-top-10-wind-turbine-manufactures number-of-biogas-installations-in-top-5-countries number-of-installed-clean-cook-stoves-in-top-5-countries number-of-installed-dre-products number-of-pay-as-you-go-enterprises number-of-renewable-energy-policies-and-number-of-countries-with-policies number-of-solar-home-systems-in-top-5-countries number-of-solar-lighting-systems-in-top-5-countries potential-markets-for-dre renewable-energy-indicators-2015 renewable-energy-indicators renewable-energy-share-of-global-final-energy-consumption2014 renewable-power-capacities-in-world share-of-biomass-in-electricity-and-heat-generation shares-of-biomass-in-total-fianl-energy-consumption solar-pv-capacity-and-addtitions solar-pv-global-addtions-2005-2015 solar-pv-global-capacity-2005-2015 solar-pv-global-capacity-additions-top-15-countries solar-water-heating-application-for-newly-installed-capacity solar-water-heating-capacity solar-water-heating-collectors-addtitions-top-18-countries solar-water-heating-global-capacity top-5-countries-annual-investmentnet-capacitybiofuels-production top-5-countries-total-capacity-or-generation wind-power-capacity-and-additions-top-10-countries wind-power-global-capacity-and-addition world-clean-cooking world-electricity-access

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The best and worst countries in the world when it comes to air pollution and electricity use

China steals an unsavory global spotlight for the thick, noxious smog that often chokes its mega-cities.

Air pollution has become so bad in Beijing, for example, that Chinese officials aim to slash its local coal consumption by 30% in 2017.

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Meanwhile, the US — which currently ranks eighth on the list of countries with the lowest air pollution — could be headed in the opposite direction.

President Donald Trump has said that he intends to fulfill his campaign promise of revitalizing the American coal industry, despite the criticism of fossil fuel industry analysts and the rise of affordable sources of renewable energy. Congress is also working to repeal environmental regulations.

With these and other changes afoot, it’s worth taking a look at current global rankings to see how China, the US, and other countries stack up when it comes to air quality, total energy use, and renewable contributions to power production.

Here the best and worst of 135 countries according to World Health Organization (WHO) and International Energy Agency data, which was shared with Business Insider by The Eco Experts, a UK-based solar energy comparison site.

There are many ways to measure air pollution, but a key indicator is called “PM 2.5” — one of the most harmful classes of airborne pollutants. The “PM” stands for “particulate matter,” and the “2.5” stands for 2.5 microns in diameter or smaller — roughly the size of a single bacterium. Such pollution, as Business Insider’s Lydia Ramsey explained in 2016 , “is especially dangerous because it can get lodged in the lungs and cause long-term health problems like asthma and chronic lung disease.” When PM 2.5 levels go above roughly 35 micrograms per cubic meter of air, it can become a major health problem. The WHO recommends keeping PM 2.5 levels to about 10 micrograms per cubic meter.

Air pollution levels are one thing, but deaths attributed to them are another. Take China, for instance. The country isn’t in the top 10 for highest average levels of air pollution, in terms of PM 2.5 (Saudi Arabia wins that contest, thanks in part to its oil industry ). However, it ranks fifth for having the most deaths per capita due to air pollution, in part because if its high population density. The US currently has one of the lowest death rates attributed to air pollution.

Decades of scientific work across multiple lines of evidence corroborate a powerful yet inconvenient truth: Human-caused global warming and climate change is real , and it’s briskly accelerating as we dump more carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Looking at per-person average emissions of carbon dioxide, a persistent greenhouse gas emitted by burning fossil fuels, the US ranks as the eighth-highest contributor in the world. Less developed nations, which lack robust and power-hungry infrastructure, rank among the lowest contributors to carbon dioxide emissions.

The main reason the US ranks so poorly on carbon dioxide emissions is because its per-person consumption rate of electricity is so high; all of that energy comes primarily from fossil fuels. As with carbon dioxide emission rankings, less developed nations tend to score better on electricity consumption because access to electrical power is not as widely available.

Despite their poor rankings in air pollution and electricity consumption categories, China, India, and the US are the top-three contributors to renewable energy. The ranking here is in “tonnes of oil equivalent” or TOE — meaning renewable energy sources generated (and presumably replaced) the energy created by burning that many metric tons of oil in a year. Four Middle Eastern nations — Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman — are tied for “worst” in this category, since each had a “0” in TOE contributed by renewables. However, they are not shown in our graphics because this may be due to a lack of available data (all four nations are actively pushing growth in renewable energy sources ).

Source: Skye Gould/Business Insider

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Budget 2017 – Solar / Renewable Synopsis

Indian Budget 2017

  • 80 IA benefit for projects now stands withdrawn from 2017
  • Accelerated Depreciation stands at 40%
  • Allocated an outlay of above Rs.10,000 crore for 2016-17. This outlay includes Rs.5,000 crore from the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) with the balance coming from Internal & Extra Budgetary Resource (IEBR). A significant part of viability gap funding for solar power projects is intended to be financed out of such cash outlay.
  • On the taxation front, the clean environment cess on coal, lignite and peat has been doubled from Rs.200 per tonne to Rs.400 per tonne; encouraging the use of renewable sources of energy
  • 7,000 railway stations with solar power in the medium term currently in only 300 stations. Work will be taken up for 2,000 railway stations as part of 1000 MW solar mission.
  •  Government now propose to take up the second phase of Solar Park development for additional 20,000 MW capacity.
  • Solar tempered glass for use in the manufacture of solar cells/panels/modules , Basic Customs Duty reduced to NIL from current rates of 5%
  • Parts/raw materials for use in the manufacture of solar tempered glass for use in solar photovoltaic cells/modules, solar power generating equipment or systems, flat plate solar collector, solar photovoltaic module and panel for water pumping and other applications, subject to actual user condition, CVD reduced to 6% from current rates of 12.5%
  • All items of machinery required for fuel cell based power generating systems to be set up in the country or for demonstration purposes, subject to certain specified conditions , BCD Reduced to 5% from 10%/7.5% and CVD Reduced to 6% from 12.5%
  • All items of machinery required for balance of systems operating on biogas/ bio-methane/ by-product hydrogen, subject to certain specified conditions , BCD Reduced to 5% from 10%/7.5% and CVD Reduced to 6% from 12.5%
  • Ministry of New & Renewable Energy will get budget allocation of Rs.5473 Crores in FY 2017-18, up from Rs.5036 Crores in FY 2016-17
  • Pilot plants for environment friendly disposal of solid waste and conversion of biodegradable waste to energy are being set up at New Delhi and Jaipur railway stations. Five more such solid waste management plants are now being taken up.
  • Resin and catalyst for use in the manufacture of cast components for Wind Operated Energy Generators [WOEG], subject to actual user condition , BCD reduced to 5% from 7.5%, CVD reduced to NIL from 12.5%, SAD reduced to NIL from 4%
  • India is on its way to achiev 100% village electrification by 1st May 2018. An increased allocation of ` 4,814 crores has been proposed under the Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana in 2017-18.
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Agenda Note for National Review Meeting of State Principal Secretaries and State Nodal Agencies of Renewable Energy on 23rd and 24th January 2017-New Delhi

background-note-meet 23 24 jan 2017

Comprehensive data on the current situation to date in Renewable Energy, a must read

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