A 50 MW very large-scale photovoltaic power plant for Al-Kufra, Libya: energetic, economic and environmental impact analysis

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Libya has a growing demand for electricity and presently generates almost all of its electrical energy using fossil-fuelled generation plant. An opportunity exists to use the naturally high solar radiation resource that occurs in the south of the country to meet this demand with a renewable energy source. This paper describes the design of a 50 MW photovoltaic (PV) power plant which has been modelled on the conditions pertaining to Al-Kufra. The general energy situation within Libya is described, along with the solar conditions at the proposed location of the power plant. An HIT type PV module has been selected and modelled. The effectiveness of the use of a cooling jacket on the modules has been evaluated. The results show an average increase in efficiency of 0.6%; however, this is not considered to be a justifiable expense. The optimum tilt angle and array layout have been evaluated for the proposed site. The projected energy output has been determined to be 114 GWh per annum with a payback time of 2.7 years and a reduction of CO2 pollution by 76 thousand tonnes per year. It is recommended that very large-scale PV plants of this type are installed within Libya for the sake of benign environmental impact and diversification of the electrical generation mix.

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