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This content will become publicly available on April 5, 2019

Title: Consequences of neglecting the interannual variability of the solar resource: A case study of photovoltaic power among the Hawaiian Islands

The interannual variability of the solar irradiance and meteorological conditions are often ignored in favor of single-year data sets for modeling power generation and evaluating the economic value of photovoltaic (PV) power systems. Yet interannual variability significantly impacts the generation from one year to another of renewable power systems such as wind and PV. Consequently, the interannual variability of power generation corresponds to the interannual variability of capital returns on investment. The penetration of PV systems within the Hawaiian Electric Companies' portfolio has rapidly accelerated in recent years and is expected to continue to increase given the state's energy objectives laid out by the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. We use the National Solar Radiation Database (1998-2015) to characterize the interannual variability of the solar irradiance and meteorological conditions across the State of Hawaii. These data sets are passed to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's System Advisory Model (SAM) to calculate an 18-year PV power generation data set to characterize the variability of PV power generation. We calculate the interannual coefficient of variability (COV) for annual average global horizontal irradiance (GHI) on the order of 2% and COV for annual capacity factor on the order of 3% across the Hawaiian archipelago.more » Regarding the interannual variability of seasonal trends, we calculate the COV for monthly average GHI values on the order of 5% and COV for monthly capacity factor on the order of 10%. We model residential-scale and utility-scale PV systems and calculate the economic returns of each system via the payback period and the net present value. We demonstrate that studies based on single-year data sets for economic evaluations reach conclusions that deviate from the true values realized by accounting for interannual variability.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States)
  3. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5D00-71315
Journal ID: ISSN 0038-092X
Grant/Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Solar Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 167; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0038-092X
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), NREL Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; interannual; variability; photovoltaics; irradiance; capacity factor; economics
OSTI Identifier:
1433481