Construction of photovoltaic power station in USA: Project finance and cost viola-funding August 16, 2023

Construction of photovoltaic power station in USA: Project finance and cost

photovoltaic power projects in USA
photovoltaic power projects in USA

The construction of solar PV plants is one of the strategic priorities of the United States of America department of states/ government, as reflected in the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM). Policy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels has spurred the growth of solar energy over the past decade. Appreciations to its unique geographic location, United States of America is not only able to produce enough solar energy to meet its needs, but also export electricity to neighboring countries. Photovoltaic power projects in USA is located in the tropics, receive 3,000 hours of sunshine annually. In most of the country, photovoltaic elements are capable of producing enough energy even in cloudy weather.

Viola Funding Limited offers financing and construction of solar power plants projects in USA, under an EPC contract around the world.

Uneven development of the solar photovoltaic power sector in USA

If we analyze the situation in different states, the USA, Colorado is one of the regions with the highest horizontal solar radiation. The desert and semi-desert states are western Arizona, southern Nevada, the areas with the greatest potential for the construction of photovoltaic power stations due to intense solar radiation and favorable geographic conditions.

At the pre-investment stage, the business should plan additional funds for the construction of roads and power lines, as well as overcoming other problems associated with the mountainous landscape.

Unlike the state of California, the states of Dallas Texas and Mississippi, which do not have high solar potential, have managed to attract investors in recent years and become the states with the highest installed capacity.

United states is constructing the world’s largest photovoltaic power stations

In 2019, the US energy company Schlumberger Limited  announced plans to build the world’s largest 5 GW photovoltaic power station in Nevada.

It is known that Schlumberger Limited plans to build and finance a hydroelectric power plant with an installed capacity of 500 MW, which will be located in Las Vegas, next to another power plant of similar capacity.

In 2020, Adani Green Energy, owned by billionaire Gautam Adani, won a $ 6 billion government tender to build a complex of the largest solar power plants with a total capacity of 8 GW.

The company says it will be one of the largest energy projects of this type in the world and it will generate more than 400 thousand jobs in the entire USA.

The company’s investment in this sector will reach $ 15 billion, and this is only the beginning of the story.

Construction of offshore solar power plants in USA

One of the most important trends in the development of solar energy in USA is the movement of solar power plants from land to water.

Utilities and energy companies are moving their facilities to the water under unrelenting pressure from government agencies. This trend is also explained by the fact that it is increasingly difficult for companies to acquire large plots of land for the construction of photovoltaic power stations on land.

Thus, offshore solar power plants very quickly turned from an experiment into a full-fledged niche market. Greenam Energy and others are installing floating platforms in US industrial regions, providing local businesses with reliable renewable energy sources.

The World Bank believes that this country, along with China and the countries of Southeast Asia, will continue to lead the global development of offshore solar energy.

Currently, the largest floating solar PV power plant is located in Anhui, China. It has a capacity of 150 MW, which is 6.5 times less than the planned capacity of the US project.

Currently, there is only one similar plant in US. It is an offshore solar power plant with an installed capacity of 100 MW in the state Oregon.

Cryogenic energy storage (CES) for the solar photovoltaic sector

The interest of European countries in energy storage systems is a consequence of the implementation of the 20-20-20 policy, which, in accordance with the Energy and Climate Package, assumes a gradual increase in the share of renewable sources in heat and power generation systems.

Following global trends, United States, is also seeking to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels by setting ambitious annual goals to increase the installed capacity of photovoltaic power stations and a range of other renewable energy sources.

Replacing the traditional concept with distributed sources, characterized by uneven generation, is a huge problem for the entire power system. The only solution to stabilize the operation of the power grid is energy storage. As a result of the introduction of new energy storage technologies, it is possible to effectively separate the production and consumption processes and to work more flexibly with distributed sources.

Cryogenic energy storage (CES), based on the use of liquid air, offers unique energy storage opportunities for photovoltaic power stations in USA. Cutting-edge technologies developed by the UK company Highview Power are designed to provide backup power or efficient grid balancing in the face of growing renewable energy.

Liquid air energy storage could revolutionize photovoltaic power projects in USA by implementing large renewable energy projects globally.

Financing the construction of photovoltaic power stations projects in USA

Currently, to meet the country’s electricity demand, the government must invest heavily in renewable energy and support independent energy producers.

One of the largest financial institutions in this area is IREDA (Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited), which offers concessional loans for photovoltaic energy projects. In addition, the European Investment Bank and KfW (the state bank of Germany), have signed agreements with IREDA and REC (Corporation for Rural Electrification) to finance local projects.

United States banks provide little credit for solar projects, but awareness raising and government support are gradually changing this situation.

The complexity of the procedure for applying for government subsidies and a multi-level bureaucratic system (MNRE, IREDA, SNA, State Electricity Regulatory Commission) make it difficult to implement large-scale projects. Ultimately, India needs a more flexible financial infrastructure to stimulate the production and consumption of solar photovoltaic energy.

Estimated cost of financing photovoltaic power projects in USA

Investment costs consist of the following components:

• Civil engineering: the implementation of general construction work requires the involvement of a large number of low-skilled workers, the purchase or lease of construction machinery and equipment.

• Installation of PV panels: The amount of steel required to install the panels depends on the type and size of the solar park. Unfavorable weather conditions significantly increase costs.

• Purchase of inverters: With regard to inverters, equipment replacement should be considered, which takes place on average after 12-15 years of operation.

• Cables and Transformers: The construction of a solar power plant requires DC / AC transformers and cables, including wiring between panels and inverters, junction boxes, wiring between inverter and electrical substation, switches, control equipment, etc.

The cost of projects with the same installed capacity can vary widely depending on specific conditions and customer requirements.


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