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Utility-Scale Solar Project Design Becomes More Accessible

Posted 20 January 2015 5:00 AM by David Spieldenner

The First Solar Energy Capacity Assessment Tool is self-service design resource for developers

There are many factors that determine the energy output and, ultimately, profitability of a PV power plant. For project developers and investors, the process of evaluating when and where to build a PV project can be time consuming, costly, and complicated, requiring direct relationships with project engineers.

Earlier this week, at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, we announced the launch of the Energy Capacity Assessment Tool. The assessment tool is a first-of-its-kind self-service utility-scale PV project assessment application that makes it faster and easier for developers to evaluate the feasibility of a solar site.

Determining if your site is a prime location for utility-scale PV energy production is essential in the preliminary stages of evaluating and a solar project. Through the Energy Capacity Assessment Tool, you can compare the appropriateness of land that has been purchased or is under consideration for locating a utility-scale PV plant. You can also research how much energy a PV plant built with First Solar technology will generate in comparison to other renewable energy sources, and if that amount will meet your power generation demands.

The assessment tool allows you to plot your solar site using a simple mapping interface, or by uploading a KMZ or KML file. Then, you design your solar array and adjust project configuration specifics such as project timing, mounting type, and row spacing to compare the estimated effect on energy output (watch this video for a quick tutorial). The Energy Capacity Assessment Tool will generate a report of estimated capacity and energy yield and in-depth project data including GHI, DHI, average temperature, and expected revenue.

Our mission at First Solar is to provide customers around the globe with clean, reliable power that easily accessible and affordable. Launching the Energy Capacity Assessment Tool for public use, at no cost, is one of the many ways we are innovating to fulfill our mission of making solar more accessible worldwide. The assessment tool is a valuable resource for project developers, and we encourage anyone who wants to learn more about utility-scale solar to try it out. Click here to access the First Solar Energy Capacity Assessment Tool and discover how much energy your site can produce.