Free A Report on Solar Photovoltaic Energy Dissertation Example

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A Report on Solar Photovoltaic Energy

Category: Accounting

Subcategory: Biology

Level: Masters

Pages: 73

Words: 20075

Abstract Renewable energy refers to the kind of energy whose source does not get depleted when used. This includes energy obtained from wind and solar power. On the other hand, non-renewable sources of energy constitute the particular energy whose source gets depleted once the energy is produced. Some of the sources of non-renewable energy include coal and fossils. It is economical for various energy organs within different parts of the world to supply energy from renewable sources to address the increasing energy demand that must have resulted from reduced energy being obtained from non-renewable sources that are at the threat of depletion. St. Eustatius Island is a Caribbean Island that is undergoing an energy supply deficit. This research, therefore, aims at showing how feasible it is to use photovoltaic energy and energy storage to meet the electrical energy demand of St. Eustatius Island. This particular research study is built on the findings obtained from the literature review. There is a lot of literature available that talks about not only the use of solar power but also the various factors that are essential in both the production and maintenance of the power plant. The research study was conducted in different stages. After the conduction of the reconnaissance in the identified research field, there was a groundwork study stage. Groundwork stage aimed at observing different variables such as the natural environment within the area of the study. The precise factors that were aimed at during the groundwork stage included but were not limited to the topography and the climatic aspects of the island. Afterward, the research included an actual study within St. Eustatius Utility Company. Within the power production company, a diversified range of data was obtained including the financial information, level of energy production, and details of the engines used. This research adopted the use of observation, interviews, and questionnaires as methods of data collection. Tabulation was regarded as the best method to present research findings in the study. Results from research findings show that there are numerous physical geography and human geography that favor operations of the solar photovoltaic power generating plant within St. Eustatius Island. Relatively flat topography, fast-moving clouds, intense sun’s rays, enough heat buildup, proper government policies, availability of expert knowledge, and enhanced technology and industry with the area are some of the factors that favor the production of solar power energy that meets the increasing energy demand in St. Eustatius Island.
DECLARATION do hereby declare that this dissertation is my original work and none has submitted the work to any other university or tertiary institution for consideration.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT will like first to thank Mr. Fred Cuvulay the CEO of STUCO for hosting me and providing data on the energy sector and power generation on the island of St.Estatiaus.
Thanks also my supervisors Mrs Petra Gratton and Dr Hilary Stone whose guidance and support enable me to realize the completion of this project.
A special thanks to all, who gave generously of their time and attention to help make this project a reality.
Finally, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my family and friends for their unwavering support in the most challenging times of this academic year.
Table of Contents
TOC o “1-3” h z u Solar Photovoltaic Energy Production Plant PAGEREF _Toc511596997 h 1Abstract PAGEREF _Toc511596998 h 2DECLARATION PAGEREF _Toc511596999 h 4ACKNOWLEDGEMENT PAGEREF _Toc511597000 h 5List of Tables PAGEREF _Toc511597001 h 9List of Figures PAGEREF _Toc511597002 h 10Glossary PAGEREF _Toc511597003 h 111.0CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION PAGEREF _Toc511597004 h 121.1Overview of the Research Area PAGEREF _Toc511597005 h 121.2Statement of the Research Problem PAGEREF _Toc511597006 h 131.3Research Purpose and Aim PAGEREF _Toc511597007 h 151.3.1Research Questions PAGEREF _Toc511597008 h 161.4Objectives of the Research PAGEREF _Toc511597009 h 171.5Significance of the Research PAGEREF _Toc511597010 h 181.6Scope of the Research PAGEREF _Toc511597011 h 201.7Thesis structure PAGEREF _Toc511597012 h 212.0cHAPTER TWO: Literature Review PAGEREF _Toc511597013 h 242.1 ST. Eustatius Island location and the electricity power generation PAGEREF _Toc511597016 h 262.1.1Fuel consumption and cost PAGEREF _Toc511597019 h 292.2.2Typical components of PV systems PAGEREF _Toc511597024 h 323.0 Chapter ThREE: Background of the Project PAGEREF _Toc511597031 h 443.1 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc511597032 h 443.2 Energy Profile PAGEREF _Toc511597033 h 443.3 Generation Capacity PAGEREF _Toc511597034 h 453.4 Renewable Energy Potential PAGEREF _Toc511597036 h 484.0 CHAPTER FOUR: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY PAGEREF _Toc511597037 h 494.1 Study Reconnaissance PAGEREF _Toc511597038 h 494.2 Actual study PAGEREF _Toc511597039 h 494.2.1 Groundwork stage study PAGEREF _Toc511597040 h 494.2.2 St. Eustatius utility company study PAGEREF _Toc511597041 h 494.3 Research approach PAGEREF _Toc511597042 h 514.4 Research strategy PAGEREF _Toc511597043 h 524.5 Data collection PAGEREF _Toc511597044 h 544.6 Research Instruments PAGEREF _Toc511597045 h 554.7 Reliability of the research instruments PAGEREF _Toc511597046 h 564.8 Sampling PAGEREF _Toc511597047 h 574.9 Ethical considerations PAGEREF _Toc511597048 h 605.0 CHAPTER FIVE: RESULTS, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION PAGEREF _Toc511597049 h 625.1 Results and Analysis PAGEREF _Toc511597050 h 625.1.1 Power Production PAGEREF _Toc511597051 h 625.1.2 Engines PAGEREF _Toc511597053 h 665.1.3 Fuel Consumption and Demand PAGEREF _Toc511597056 h 685.2 Discussion PAGEREF _Toc511597059 h 715.2.1 Factors influencing the feasibility of the Solar PV generation plant execution PAGEREF _Toc511597060 h 715.2.2 Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project costing case scenario PAGEREF _Toc511597061 h 846.0 CHAPTER SIX: SUMMARY, RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION PAGEREF _Toc511597062 h 876.1 Summary PAGEREF _Toc511597063 h 876.2 Recommendation PAGEREF _Toc511597064 h 886.3 Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc511597065 h 92Bibliography PAGEREF _Toc511597066 h 96Appendix A: Project Forms PAGEREF _Toc511597067 h 104

List of TablesTable 1: Shows the estimated Efficiency and Cost of the PV Solar Module (Alfonso, 2014) PAGEREF _Toc511559461 h 33Table 2: Power Generation Capacity (Aemc.gov.au., 2017) PAGEREF _Toc511559470 h 45Table 3: Shows the Week-end and week-day production in Kwh for days 2010 PAGEREF _Toc511559487 h 61Table 4: Shows the Engine capacity by the manufacturer PAGEREF _Toc511559490 h 66Table 5: Shows the Fuel consumption, production and efficiency PAGEREF _Toc511559492 h 67
List of Figures HYPERLINK l “_Toc511559449” Figure 1: Shows St. Eustatius location within the Caribbean Map (America/, N, n.d) PAGEREF _Toc511559449 h 24
Figure 2: The Map of St. Eustatius (Caribbean-on-line.com, n.d) PAGEREF _Toc511559450 h 25Figure 3: The peak demand from 2000-2016 (Aemc.gov.au, 2017) PAGEREF _Toc511559452 h 26Figure 4: Hourly demand for a weekday and a weekend in September 2010 (Aemc.gov.au, 2017) PAGEREF _Toc511559453 h 27Figure 5: Fuel Consumption (Aemc.gov.au, 2017) PAGEREF _Toc511559455 h 28Figure 6: Crude oil forecasted price (Conti et al., 2016) PAGEREF _Toc511559456 h 29Figure 7: I-V curves for solar cell connect in parallel and series (Jäger et al., 2016) PAGEREF _Toc511559460 h 32Figure 8: Standard Inverter Nameplate (Resh, 2013) PAGEREF _Toc511559462 h 34Figure 9: Shows the maximum power point (MPP) (Jäger et al., 2014) PAGEREF _Toc511559463 h 35Figure 10: Shows the effect of temperature and irradiance on power generation (Jäger et al., 2014) PAGEREF _Toc511559464 h 36Figure 11: Shows the Engines data PAGEREF _Toc511559489 h 65Figure 12: Shows the fuel consumption between 2010 and 2015 PAGEREF _Toc511559493 h 68
GlossaryAC: Alternating Current
BESS: Battery Energy Storage Systems
BOS: Balance of system
CARILEC: Caribbean Organization of Electric Utilities
DC: Direct Current
EMCP: Engine Module Control Panel
GWh: Giga Watts per hour
IADP: Inter-American Development Bank
kWh: Mega Watts per hour
LACE: Levelized Avoided the Cost of Electricity
LCOE: Levelized Cost of Energy
MEA: Ministry of Economic Affairs
MPP: Maximum Power Point
MPPT: Maximum power point tracking
MWh: Mega Watts per hour
O & M: Operational and Maintenance
OAS: Organization of American States
OECS: Organization of Eastern Caribbean States
OPEC: Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
SIDS: Small Island Developing States
Solar PV: Solar photovoltaic
STUCO: St. Eustatius Electricity Company
US: United States

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Overview of the Research AreaIn most Island states, a significant percentage if not all their electrical energy is generated from the burning of fossil fuels. Except for Trinidad and Tobago in the south, the Caribbean Islands are completely dependent on the importation of fossil fuel to meet their fuel and electricity demands. It is quite obvious that imported resources are costly and the fact that the Caribbean Islands depends on the imported fossil fuel, the generation and distribution of electricity is costly and remains a challenge. At the same time, it is notable that the demand for the electricity within the Caribbean Islands is completely high because the generation/ production plants have not been expanded at the same rate as growing demands. Substantively, it is excessively expensive to establish and maintain such as power generating plants.
The electricity generated within the St. Eustatius Island is from the oil products whose availability is unpredictable. Countries with such valuable mineral have experienced varying patterns in extracting the crude oil and the market. Many experts have predicted that the conventional oil that is produced will reach its peak within the coming 20 years. The producing countries have reported reduced exports due to the reduction in production as the mineral is becoming exhaustive. Given that the current oil demand levels are increasing and usage patterns are fluctuating, the experience has disrupted the countries’ economic development especially the states depending on the imported oil (Hirsch, Bezdek and Wendling, 2005, p. 52). The nations depending on imported oil have experienced challenges because certain valuable resources such as energy are reduced hence affecting the overall consumers.
A better mechanism has been put across by various countries to curb on this problem of reduced fossil fuels which is the primary raw substance used in the generation of energy. The demand is high, and the generation is costly, this was the common challenge that these nations experienced inclusive of the St. Eustatius Island. For this case, the Caribbean Islands are therefore forced to look at the alternative source of energy to mitigate the shortfall in fossil fuel supply. One such alternative energy source is solar energy. Solar energy is the relatively available source of energy that the St. Eustatius Island would adapt to meet the demand and control the prices paid by the consumers.
The research is built on understanding this solar energy within the context of solving the issue of depleting fossil fuels which have been the primary source of electricity. Solar photovoltaic (PV) is a technology that is used in harnessing energy from the sunlight energy that is renewable. Renewable sources of energy are never depleted because they seem to revolve rather reemerge making the energy readily available. At times establishing an energy plant may be expensive but its maintenance is quite manageable and cheap. In some case, the energy plant development may be cheap, but the maintenance cost is high. The Solar energy is the interested alternative source of energy which will enable the Caribbean Island to meet the electricity demand and stop depending on fossil fuels as the primary source of electricity.
Statement of the Research ProblemRenewable sources of energy can be defined as sources that are repetitively replenished through the various natural processes (Dunlop, 2010). Solar energy is an example of a renewable energy source, harnessing solar energy to provide electricity directly involves the use of a different and sophisticated technology called solar photovoltaic (PV) (Boyle, Everett and Ramage, 2003). In the past, the high cost of solar PV components, the low efficiencies of the PV modules and the variability of the energy supplied from solar PV rendered the application of solar PV for large-scale energy production and integration to be one of less promising amongst alternative source of energy. However, improvements in technology which resulted in the increased efficiency of solar PV modules and methods to address the variability of the energy supplied; coupled with reductions in the cost of solar PV components has made the price of solar PV systems competitive when compared to the prices of other power generation technology.
Before 2010, electricity on the Island of St. Eustatius was produced and distributed by the St Maarten base utility company GEBE, retail prices on both Islands were kept at the same level by cross-subsidies. In 2010 St. Eustatius became a special municipal of the Netherlands, the St. Eustatius Electricity Company (STUCO) was formed, and all electricity production and distribution assets of GEBE on the Island were transferred to STUCO. Subsidies were lost from St. Maarten and an increase in the retail price for electricity was imminent, this was politically unacceptable to the local government hence the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (MEA) decided to subsidize retail prices (Stackhouse, 2017). To curtail STUCO’s dependence on imported fuel and to decrease further subsidies on retail prices, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (MEA) decided to subsidize investments in a solar PV facility and power management.
The cost of generating power on both St. Maarten and St. Eustatius Islands was extremely high because the power plants depended on the imported fuel. The consumers had to spend more for the electricity bills. Notably, the issues became a concern on political grounds and the initial proposed solution was to reduce the electricity charges per kWh. The proposal was approved, and the prices were reduced, but the amazing aspect was that it made no change to the electricity consumption. It was until the identification of high electricity demand such that the population had overwhelmed the generated and distributed electricity. Therefore, the core challenge/problem that the research targets to resolve is the provision of supplement power supply that will control the heavy dependence on the fossil fuels that is costly. In response, the evaluation/ assessment of the solar PV plant and the improvement on the overall power management within the St. Eustatius Island is the provisioned solution to the issue hence the study on the Solar PV.
Research Purpose and AimSt. Eustatius Island like many other Caribbean Islands is bombarded with a vast amount of solar radiation. A look at the average insolation level for St. Eustatius Island reveals that St. Eustatius receives a relatively high amount solar radiation of between 4.92 kWh/m2 /day and 7.64kwh/m2 /day annually with an average number of sunlight hours of between 11.1 and 13 hours per day (Stackhouse, 2017). This shows that St. Eustatius has significant potential for the development of solar energy projects. Solar PV is considered by many to be the fastest growing power technology worldwide; however, the Caribbean trails the rest of the world in its application and major development of energy projects.
In March of 2016, the St. Eustatius utility company commissioned its first solar PV generation facility of 1.9MWp DC with a 1MW DC/560kWh battery, the sole function of the battery is grid stability and ramp rate control. The purpose of the dissertation was to determine the size of solar PV generation plant and storage capacity that will be required to meet to the Island’s total energy requirement. Also, it was to assess if the advancement in technology and subsequent reduction in the cost of solar PV system has resulted in solar PV becoming a viable option for utility-scale renewable energy electricity generation in a small Island setting.
As noted, the concern is about to access the alternative source of power since the core source of energy is electricity. At the same time, St. Eustatius is well positioned within the grid of the solar system. The project aimed to assess how feasible it is to use solar photovoltaic energy and energy storage to meet the electrical energy demand of the small Caribbean Island, St Eustatius. The demand for energy within the St. Eustatius Island is high, and the normal sources have been overwhelmed. Despite the efforts of reducing the power bills rates for the sustenance of the population to access the energy at a reduced cost, the program has not relieved the residents and thus the need to establish an understanding about the solar photovoltaic energy. The type of energy requires a solar generation plant, and the research targets to access the feasibility of establishing the plant to stabilize the power grid.
Research QuestionsThe research was built on evaluation the solar photovoltaic energy influence within the Caribbean island high demand for electricity. The study was undertaken within the context of analyzing the effectiveness of solar photovoltaic generation plant and if at all the investment will empower St. Eustatius Island economy. Therefore, the research was conducted basing on the following key questions;
What impact does the solar photovoltaic generation plant has to the St. Eustatius Island economy?
Is the investment of solar photovoltaic generation plant worthy of the energy generated by the diesel plant?
What are the requirements for establishing a solar photovoltaic generation plant in St. Eustatius Island?
How sustainable is the Solar Photovoltaic energy St. Eustatius Island?
Objectives of the Research
St. Eustatius Island is located in the Northern sediment of the Caribbean with an estimated population of more than 3000 residents that are in demand for electricity. The Island experiences temperature variations within the four seasons experienced annually. Due to, fast moving clouds and low irradiance condition, such as cloudy days and at night, the generation of electricity using the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant is inhibited thus the integration of the storage facilities (batteries) for the generated power during the hot season (summer).
The existing Solar Photovoltaic generation plant is estimated to have a minimum output of 3.2GWh annually. The demand for the electricity distributed within the St. Eustatius Island is high because only approximately 60% of the population is connected to the grid. These 1801 customers have the connections to the grid with the peak demand that ranges from the rate of 1.8 MW in the winter months to 2.3MW in the summer months. This states how the Island population is in demand of the electricity supply.
As a matter of researching about the alternative source of energy to the fossil fuels, the Solar Photovoltaic is the potential source of energy that will meet St. Eustatius Island demand for electricity. During the study, objectives are targeted to be fulfilled at the finalization of the research. The research was executed to achieve the following objectives;
To evaluate if the use of utility-scale centralized solar photovoltaic generation plant with energy storage can be a viable solution to the energy demands of small Islands.
To evaluate if investments in the construction of these large-scale solar photovoltaic generation plant with integrated energy storage represent a viable economic solution.
To evaluate if the use of utility-scale centralized solar photovoltaic generation plant with energy storage can be a viable solution to the depleting fossil fuels.
To determine the reliability of solar photovoltaic generation plant as the primary source of electricity within the Caribbean Island (the replacement of the fossil fuels). Propose the approaches to get the project executable.
To determine the effects of solar photovoltaic generation plant to the environment and propose the best curbing approaches.
Significance of the ResearchThe research was executed within the St. Eustatius located within the Caribbean Islands with the purpose of determining if it was beneficial to invest in the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant. The research is essential because it is defined with great impact to St. Eustatius Island. First, upon executing the study, the concerned energy generation authority will be able to determine how effective the solar photovoltaic is as the core replacement to the primary source of energy which is fossil fuel energy. The challenge noticed within the boundaries of St. Eustatius Island is the increased demand for the resource of electricity which has overwhelmed the underlined energy distributed that is generated from the fossil fuel. The used fossil fuel is imported from other nations. Therefore, the underlined research will substantiate on why and how the execution of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant and energy storage facilities are the promising backup and replacement of the current dependent on fossil fuel.
Subsequently, the study will provide the facts why there is need to introduce an energy generating plant that is environmentally friendly. The study is executed within the scope of describing the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant within the St. Eustatius Island. Fossil fuel is the primary source of energy in St. Eustatius Island, they have been termed as not environmentally friendly because of the massive emissions of carbon IV oxide gas in the atmosphere which causes global warming. Therefore, the study will provide the understanding of the Solar Photovoltaic energy as an environmentally friendly source of generating electricity that describes the effort of controlling the global challenge of global warming.
Solar Photovoltaic energy is considered a renewable source of energy which means that it is not exhaustive in whichever manner. The study defines why this source of energy is sustainable. The St. Eustatius Island is located correspondently with the sun rays and thus making it good in the production of solar photovoltaic energy. The study does substantiate the uniqueness of this Island because it is well located. Therefore, the study will facilitate the process of understanding St. Eustatius Island uniqueness as far as renewable generation of energy is concerned as well as the integration of batteries for storage of energy for future use.
Scope of the ResearchSt. Eustatius is located in the Northern hemisphere of Caribbean Island whose source of energy is dependent on fossil fuels which are imported. The research aimed at assessing the feasibility of adopting solar photovoltaic energy and power storage facilities to meet the demand for electricity St. Eustatius Island. Considerably, the study was implemented within the scope of researching within STUCO Company as the identified primary source of information about the renewable Solar Photovoltaic energy. Being the major Solar Photovoltaic generating company within the island, the study will concentrate on it by engaging the management in an interview to outline the facts that may term the technology the sole provider of energy to the overwhelmed fossil fuels.
Consequently, the study was limited to the solar energy. Despite considering the Solar Photovoltaic as the sole replacement of the fossil fuel, the research primarily concentrated on the Solar Photovoltaic source of energy but not the fossil fuel. However, there was just substantiation about the resource of fossil fuel because it was the respective primary source of electricity. While executing the study, the concentration was about assessing the feasibility of Solar Photovoltaic as the renewable source of energy that will meet the high demand by the population for electricity within the St. Eustatius Island. Therefore, the study was confined to the assessment of the effectiveness of Solar Photovoltaic generation plant as an investment that will have a short-term payback. Also, the concern is about the principle of the Solar Photovoltaic being a renewable source of energy.
Also, the study took another twist of assessing the impact of the investment on the economy of St. Eustatius Island. The economy depends on the energy available because the operations of the citizen largely depend on electricity especially during the winter season. Since only 60% of the population has the connection to the grid and pay highly for the electricity, the provision of Solar Photovoltaic generation plant will foster the energy generation thus increasing the population percentage connected to the grid as a result, influencing the human productivity which determines the economic growth. Therefore, the research was limited to assessing the impact that Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project have to the St. Eustatius Island economy. The effort poses the room for future research which may consider the impact of the investment to the social and cultural practices of the Island.
Thesis structureThe thesis paper is organized into several categories with five main chapters. Within the chapters, numerous sub-topics discuss the precise facts, actions, findings and recommendations on the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project as the additional renewable source of energy in St. Eustatius Island.
Chapter One: Introduction. It is divided into six sections of the problem statement, the purpose of the study, research questions, and scope of the research and the significance of the study. Also, in the thesis structure under problem statement section, the exact shortcoming or rather the main problem that led to the research to be conducted is extensively discussed. The purpose of the study section largely covers the aims and objectives of the research in defining the final thesis project. This is where the targets of the research work are deeply discussed. However, the research questions section only addresses the precise prompts that respondents are expected to attend to during the data collection process. Moving to the rational part, the importance of conducting the research work is discussed. The section outlines the reason why the research was conducted hence highlighting the possible gains that might be achieved through this research work.
Chapter Two: Review of the literature. It discusses in much detail the numerous findings from the previous research projects on the study topic. The Solar Photovoltaic as the renewable source of energy.
Chapter Three: Background of the Research. The chapter provides details about the research topic by illustrating the key concepts and aspects that influences the entire study process.
Chapter Four: Research Methodology. It describes the approach used in the field research is discussed in details. To begin with, research design and theoretical frame are explicitly explored about the data collection process. It is under the research design that the exact structure of the research work and relevant hypotheses are discussed. Sampling and data collection section under methodology contains the criterion that was used to identify the respondents. Besides, the qualitative and quantitative data collection method is well explored in this methodology chapter. Finally, the methodology has data analysis methods section that outlines the precise methods that will be used to analyze the data collected from the field research.
Chapter Five: Results and Discussion. The chapter talks about the results that were obtained from the primary research. It also provides an analysis of the information that was described in the results. The chapter as well discusses the variables that determine the feasibility of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project in St. Eustatius Island.
Chapter Six: Summary, Recommendation, and Conclusion. The chapter provides a summary of the study and the recommendation on the cost estimates of the proposed Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project. Further, the segment gives a conclusion of the explored topic.

cHAPTER TWO: Literature ReviewThe research looks at the energy sector on the island of St. Eustatius and provides a snapshot of the existing constraints and challenges within this sector. It also presents a review of a selection of literature on the topic solar photovoltaic electricity generation, provides an understanding of the energy crisis faced by the island, and establishes the main purpose of this study. In recent years solar photovoltaic has emerged as the fastest growing technology in the energy sector. As the prices of solar PV power continue to fall, PV power is rapidly approaching grid parity in many countries making it a commercially viable option.
Many renewable energy sources have been researched, with pilot projects implemented to test their electrical energy generation potential, and have been marketed as alternative energy sources in the long run. Examples of such projects includes: The Quarrazate Project, Morocco (solar PV) (African Development Bank, 2011); The Nellis Air Force Base project, Las Vegas (solar PV) (Sun Power, n.d.); The Krafla Power Station, Iceland (geothermal) (Geothermal Energy, 2005); The Meygen Project, Scotland (Tidal wave) (MEYGEN, 2017); The London Array, London (wind) (Leseure, Cooper and Robins, 2014); the Nevis Geothermal Project, Nevis and Jamaica Content Solar Project, Jamaica (solar PV) (WRB Enterprises, n.d.).
The Caribbean has long been considered to have an abundance of solar energy; however, the contemplation has not been well executed and taken on a dedicated note towards the establishment of advanced solar projects on a large scale around the globe. This paper aims to assess and evaluate the feasibility of the large-scale deployment of the solar PV technology on the island of St. Eustatius (Ackermann et al., 2017).
Figure 1: Shows St. Eustatius location within the Caribbean Map (America/, N, n.d)
The study looks at St. Eustatius Island which is a Dutch municipal in the Northern Caribbean as shown in Fig 1. The island is in the northern Leeward Islands located at 17.29 o North; 16.59 o East, immediately north of St. Kitts and Nevis and Southeast of the Virgin Islands. This small island is relatively flat with its highest peak of 602 meters; the Quill Volcano located at the southern end of the island as shown in Fig 2. It has an approximate land area of 8 square miles. The population census of 2016 recorded the population at 3,200 inhabitants (Debrot et al., 2013).
Figure 2: The Map of St. Eustatius (Caribbean-on-line.com, n.d)
2.1 ST. Eustatius Island location and the electricity power generationThe energy sector as stipulated around the globe has the core duty of developing all regions of the world including St. Eustatius. The St. Eustatius Island has a peak demand of 2.3 MW with a net generation of just over 13 GWh. During the period from 2000 to 2012 the electricity demands on St. Eustatius Island has been growing at a mean rate of 4% annually. However, in figure 3 it can be viewed that the peak demand remained relatively constant during the period 2012 to 2016. According to STUCO’s forecast, for the subsequent years the electricity demand on the island is anticipated to grow moderately at 1% per annum and losses in the transmission and distribution system are projected to remain approximately 12%.
Figure 3: The peak demand from 2000-2016 (Aemc.gov.au, 2017)
In figure 4 the hourly load profile on St. Eustatius demonstrates a regular pattern, with a daily peak at midday and early afternoon. The early afternoon peak is marginally higher than the midday peak, reflecting the predominance of the residential customer consumer base of the utility.
Figure 4: Hourly demand for a weekday and a weekend in September 2010 (Aemc.gov.au, 2017)
This demand is supplied by the island’s sole diesel-powered generation plant. Certain issues of energy are experienced by the states of Caribbean. Paramount among them is to manage their high dependence on oil and oil products that fuel their domestic economies, in particular, the power sectors (Nexant, 2011). The St. Eustatius power generation plant is comprised of nine medium speed diesel sets with the three larger generators having a combined installed capacity of 3.3MW.
The island is entirely dependent on imported fuel for electricity production (STUCO); this makes the island’s energy sector very susceptible to increases in fuel prices. Expenditure on fuel represents approximately fifty percent of STUCO’s capital expenditure (STUCO). Regardless of the grant provisioned by the Dutch government, energy consumers are still paying $0.37/kWh for electricity. Without government subsidies, the actual cost of electricity is calculated to be US$0.54/kWh. Customers in the Caribbean nations already face some of the “highest electricity tariffs” worldwide (Nexant, 2011). Renewable energy technologies may be the solution to reduce the region’s high electricity tariffs and curtail its dependences on oil and oil products.
Fuel consumption and costFigure 5: Fuel Consumption (Aemc.gov.au, 2017)-173355865505Litres
00Litres

Figure 5 shows the fuel consumption of STUCO over the past five-years; STUCO consumed an average of 3.5 million litres of diesel to meet its energy demand at an average rate of 0.27litres/kwh. This adds to the company’s operating expense an estimated $US 2.275 million per annum, over fifty percent of its operating expenditure, all while incurring a loss of $US 2 million annually. Clearly, new energy reform strategies are urgently needed to address the current challenges in the island’s energy sector.
As shown in Figure 6; it can be denoted by the World Oil Outlook (2016), the crude oil prices have been dropping for the past 12 years, the prices have begun to increase to normal rates as at the beginning of the first quarter of 2016.
Figure 6: Crude oil forecasted price (Conti et al., 2016)
The forecast shows that oil prices are expected to increase moderately over the next 20 years. Sustainable development in small island developing states (SIDS) has to be built on a sustainable energy foundation (Boto, Biasca, 2012). In St. Eustatius, a sustainable energy foundation and by extension sustained economic development, based on fossil fuel is simply unattainable.
Renewable energy potentialRenewable energy sources are sources of energy that provides an infinite supply of energy, replenished through natural cyclical processes. Given its geographic location, the Caribbean has an exceptional supply of renewable energy. The major sources of renewable energy for the Caribbean are solar, wind, biomass and geothermal (Nexant, 2011). The matrix of renewable source of energy is country specific and various individual island states have undertaken preliminary studies, to assess their available renewable resources. Such studies include the Barbados Wind and Solar Integration Study 2015 conducted by GE-Energy Consulting and the “Dutch Caribbean Islands Renewable Energy Future for the Dutch Caribbean Islands Assessment” conducted by the Sustainable Energy Consultancy Group Schellenman & Vanweijsten.
Solar EnergySolar energy has long been considered as the cleanest, least noise polluted viable form of energy. This energy which is produced as a by-product of the continuous nuclear fusion reaction, which occurs in the sun’s core, can be harnessed by various methods. One such method is the photovoltaic method; photovoltaic utilizes semi-conducting technology and other support systems to convert the light energy directly to electricity. A photovoltaic or (PV) system is electrical systems that consist of PV module arrays and other components necessary to convert “solar energy into electricity” usable at the loads (Dunlop, 2010). Based on the configuration of the system, photovoltaic systems can be classified into three main categories; stand alone, grid-connected and hybrid as denoted by Jager et al. (2014).
Solar energy has been considered as the alternative source of energy in the interior regions of parts of the globe. It simply makes use of the sunlight whose requirement to harness to make sure that the solar is positioned directly to the sun. Despite being limited and unreliable during the rainy seasons, the solar energy has remained a common source of energy as it converts the sun rays into electricity. As outlined by Dunlop (2010), the solar energy has been used on a large scale as a backup to another common source of energy. However, further backups, that is alternative power sources are supposed to be established in all region of the nation.
Standalone Systems
Standalone systems depend on solar power only. These systems can consist of PV modules and a load only or they may include batteries for energy storage as according to Jager et al. (2014).
Grid-Connected Systems
These systems are connected to the grid via Inverters. The PV generated power is directly transferred to the grid or AC connected load as pointed out by Jager et al. (2014).
Hybrid Systems
According to Jager et al. (2014), Hybrid systems consist of the combination of PV modules and a complementary method of electricity generation such as diesel, gas, or wind generator.
Typical components of PV systemsPV Array: The PV array is the nuclei of the Solar PV system and consists of the interconnection of several solar panels. These are used to convert solar irradiance to electrical energy. PV modules when connected in series results in an increase in voltage output, while when connected in parallel the current output is increased. These PV modules are standard interconnected in either parallel format or series format to meet the system energy and power requirement. Figure 7 shows the characteristic current and voltage curves for panel connected in series and parallel.
Figure 7: I-V curves for solar cell connect in parallel and series (Jäger et al., 2016)
PV Modules typically have a lifetime of 25 years and manufacturers typically guarantee a power output of approximately 80%-90% of nominal design power after 25 years. The performance and efficiency of the PV array are vital to the general performance of all solar PV systems. Factors such as shading, ambient temperature, and global irradiance adversely affects the output of solar systems, it is therefore of paramount importance that the possible effects of these factors are evaluated in the design phase of any solar project. The three common models of solar panels are; polycrystalline, monocrystalline and thin film. Both polycrystalline and monocrystalline are made from silicon; however, while polycrystalline solar cells are cut from a single silicon crystal in the form of a wafer, monocrystalline panels are made by pouring silicon in a mould. Thin film panels are made from layers of amorphous silicon or organic photovoltaic cells. Monocrystalline panels have the highest efficiency in the industry and are the most expensive as shown in table 1 below.
Table 1: Shows the estimated Efficiency and Cost of the PV Solar Module (Alfonso, 2014)
The common key features that are prioritized in the selection of the panels are: cost per watt, peak, physical size and durability of the panels.
Racking System: Secures PV modules and orients panels in the direction of the sun. The racking is extremely critical to the “structural integrity” of the PV arrays. In the Caribbean, where there are extreme weather conditions, the integrity of the racking system is essential to the longevity of PV array system.
Inverters: The term inverter is used to describe the power electronic unit that converts the DC current to AC current. The term inverter is also used to describe a single production unit which may contain: the MPPT unit; DC-DC converter and AC-DC converter; and charge controller for a battery coupled unit.
Figure 8: Standard Inverter Nameplate (Resh, 2013)
Typically, Inverters are rated by both their input and output parameters. The output parameters include the nominal output power, voltage, current, number of phases and frequency. While the input parameters are nominal input voltage range, power rating, and duty cycle. The input voltage of an inverter can be as low as 12VDC or as high as 1500VDC. This input voltage is determined by the power rating, and application of the inverter. Figure 8 shows a typical nameplate for a standalone inverter unit. The main performance indicators of an inverter are as follows: its rated power output, surge capacity, efficiency and harmonic distortion. The maximum efficiency of the inverter can be obtained at the near rated output, therefore, the attribute of efficiency vs. output power curve for the inverter when selecting the inverter should be considered (Messenger R, Venture J. (2005).
The output voltage and also the current of a PV module is reliant on the ambient temperature and solar irradiance. There is a point at which the PV module produces the most power, this point is referred to as maximum power point (MPP) as shown in fig 8.
Figure 9: Shows the maximum power point (MPP) (Jäger et al., 2014)
According to Albadi et al. (2014), Maximum power point tracking (MPPT) has an effect on the PV arrays as it raises the electrical power efficiency. Upon achieving that, the establishment of the PV arrays will require a limited number of solar panels alongside the cross-sectional area of coverage needed for the installation of the PV arrays as the required results would have been determined appropriately. This feature is present in many modern-day inverter units. The feature tracks the power released by the PV arrays and they can be adjusted at the convenience of the engineer based on the desired power to be generated. However, the control is done at certain irradiance and environmental temperature levels. The change in operating power points occurs in real time reacting to an instantaneous variation in the ambient conditions, such as fast-moving clouds; hence the MPP is a dynamic variable. Increase in temperature reduces the voltage output of the panels, while an increase in global irradiance increases the voltage output of the panel. Fig 9 shows how these variations affect the I-V curve of the panel and subsequently the MPP.
Figure 10: Shows the effect of temperature and irradiance on power generation (Jäger et al., 2014)
DC-DC Converters:
Certain conditions are established while determining the MMP; the power input to the inverter is kept at constant, while PV module output varies correspondently. DC-DC converters are therefore used to convert the variable DC outputs of the PV modules to a fixed DC output, which is used by the charge controllers and Inverters. In most modern inverter units DC-DC converters are incorporated in the inverter unit.
Energy Storage:
Energy stored in the power systems can be defined as any forming technique that undergoes independent control within the power (Ter-Gazarian, 1994). With solar PV systems, energy storage is vital to match the intermittent electricity energy generated by the variable demand of the load. It also ensures that the solar PV system can provide power at nights and during low irradiance conditions. There are several utility-scale energy storage options that are currently available, including battery storage, hydrogen production, pumped hydro storage, and compressor air storage. Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) have so far been the most widely used method for storing energy in solar PV systems (DiOrio, Dobos and Janzou, 2015). Batteries are scaled in size and can be in close proximity to the load hence reducing line loss. The roundtrip efficiency of this technology can be as high as 98%, as is the case with the SMA Sunny Central Storage 2200-US.
There are two critical components of energy storage systems, energy and power. The energy component determines how much energy can be stored while the power component is determined by the rate of charge and discharge. The relationship between energy and power in the energy system storage may be expressed by the energy/power ratio expressed at the amount of time a fully charged system can discharge at its maximum rated capacity. Typically, utility-scale storage has energy component of 4-16hrs (Denholm and Margolis, 2007).
Backup generators:
Ensure that the system can provide power at night and during low irradiance condition.
Cables:
Current carrying conductors, which are used to interconnect the different components of a PV system
Cost and ConsiderationsMost electrical power generating systems are very costly, solar PV is of no exception. The main factors that influence the cost of a PV system is the module cost, the cost of financing and the efficacy of the module. The core variables forming the PV system capital cost are the PV module cost the Balance of system (BOS) cost. The PV module itself accounts for approximately fifty percent of the total cost of the PV system (IRENA 2012). The cost of installed PV varies from country to country and location to location.
Other factors which may influence the final cost of the installed system includes: labour cost, market size, manufacture cost and the availability of incentive and grants. According to Beck and Martinot (2004), incentives and grants always raise the estimated cost of the PV system because the paid amount varies based on the individual level of status and professionalism. At times contractors tend to vary the costs upon them learning on the available grants despite the act being unethical (Bazen and Brown, 2009). Therefore, the cost of the PV system is influenced in various ways by the incentives and grants.
Generally, included in a project proposal is an assessment of the economic and commercial returns of the proposed project, this is to show that the project is feasible and will produce a profitable outcome. There are various industry established and accepted financial matrixes which are used to examine the financial performance of power generation systems. The commonly adopted financial methods of determining the power plant costs are; simple payback, and the “levelized cost of energy” (LCOE).
Simple payback method
The simple payback period is known to be the period needed to compensate the investment cost. As denoted by Jäger et al. (2014), the practice is adopted in checking the rate at which the initial investment cost could be compensated or recovered.
-9525-47625Payback time (years) = Initial cost ($)
Annual Production (KWh/year) * Value ($/KWh)- O&M($/year)
00Payback time (years) = Initial cost ($)
Annual Production (KWh/year) * Value ($/KWh)- O&M($/year)

The payback time is obtained through the division of the power generating system plant capital cost by the system annual capital return. The annual return refers to the product of the power generating system plant and the cost per kilowatt-hour of power grid less the power plant maintenance cost. The payback is therefore strong influence by the annual solar radiation on the PV system (Jäger et al., 2014), however, the payback doesn’t account for electricity price escalation, the time value for money, variable rate electricity pricing and what happens after the payback (Rashford et al., 2016).
The payback method is one of the popular approaches that is adopted by various analysts from a diversified range of discipline due to numerous reasons. To begin with, the method is simple to apply. Most of the organizations adopt the use of payback method to evaluate the capital requirements of projects. While calculating the employees are considered as a variable that influences success of the project. It is a common notion in the public domain that adoption of the payback method in association with the reduction of the once complicated evaluation process to only be covered within a simplified duration hence making the evaluation concept to be understood with a lot of ease (Yard, 2000).
The payback method also helps various organizations to easily identify the best projects that can be easily implemented hence bringing about easy investments that facilitate quick profits. Besides, various managers employ the payback method whenever they need rapid evaluations of the precise organizational projects that have relatively smaller investments. According to Yard (2000), it is essential that the small investment projects do not require the involvement of a large group of the workers or rather individuals. This, therefore, means that small projects do not require conduction of the thorough analysis regarding the economic value of the organizations. One of the disadvantages of adopting method is that the system does not appreciate the so-called time value for money.
Levelized cost of energy method
One of the most widely used methods of cost analysis in the industry is the Levelized cost of energy (LCOE) method which considers both the variable costs as well as the fixed costs. The method provides a way for the industry as to whether the project underway will be built to success. The levelized cost method is used in the calculation of the cost of energy over the power plant lifetime. Also, the method is applied in the determination of the energy or electricity that can be generated.
LCOE=Total Lifetime CostTotal Lifetime Output=t=1 nIt+ Mt+ Ft1+rtt=1 nEt1+rtIt = Investment and expenditures for a given year (t)
Mt = Operational and maintenance expenditures for a given year (t)
Ft = Fuel expenditures for a given year (t)
Et = Electrical output for a given year (t)
r = The Discount Rate
n = The expected lifetime of the power system
This method expresses the cost of energy produced from a PV system (Rashford et al., 2016) and takes in consideration both the cost construction and cost of operating the plant over the lifespan of the plant. It allows comparison to be made between different energy sources of different lifespan, however, it is unable to account for escalation in the energy rates (Rashford et al., 2016). The LOCE is the minimum price to break. Even if the LOCE is less than the cost of energy, then the project is considered to be economically viable.Before discussing the benefits and limitations of this Levelized cost of energy (LCOE) method, it is appropriate to appreciate the reasons as to why the features of electric energy sources seem to change regarding the way we take to value them. Primarily, as defined by Luna-Rubio, Trejo-Perea, Vargas-Vázquez and Ríos-Moreno (2012), the size of an electric generated is conceptually measured by megawatts as its capacity and megawatt-hours as the output.
Subsequently, the intermittent generation that is solar, biogas and wind are considered to be operated only under certain limited conditions hence having a limited demand value. It is unlike the conventional generation which operates on a predetermined schedule. Another considerate feature is that some generation have a lifespan equal or more than 50 years while others have a limited span of approximately less than 10 years (Luna-Rubio et al., 2012).
At the same time as highlighted by Luna-Rubio et al. (2012), these forms of generation are of varying capital intensive despite some having high annual operational costs. Finally, certain power generation has a powerful direct environmental impact that influences the anticipated environmental conservation of the globe. Nevertheless, some power generations have an exogenous impact to the environment.
The Levelized cost of energy (LCOE) method is appropriate at determining some of the outlined features of the electric energy since the purpose of the research is to investigate the appropriateness of alternative sources of energy. Certain benefits are enjoyed while adopting the LCOE method; the approach is simple in providing a clear understanding of power generation because it provides a common mechanism that enables the economists to compare the generation capability of the various operating lives.
Subsequently, Levelized cost of energy (LCOE) method does reflect on the time value of the input resource (money) by incorporating both the real cost of the money inclusive of the associated risk and the economy inflation. Also, the method is defined by enhancing the ease of understanding because it carries the common knowledge of the economic value. However, the Levelized cost of energy (LCOE) method is limited in varies ways because it does not incorporate or value the short-lived and long-lived assets, the base load of the plant and the peaking generation as well as not considering the annual cash flow. The method as well does not value the scheduled qualities against the intermittent qualities of the respective plant.

3.0 Chapter ThREE: Background of the Project3.1 IntroductionSt. Eustatius is a 21 square kilometres Dutch municipal located in the Northern Caribbean at latitude 17.28 and longitude of 62.58 with a population of approximately 3200 inhabitants. The prime driver of economic activities on the island is the government, Nustar NV, and tourism (St. Eustatius and Saba at a glance, 2010). Prior to 2010, electricity on St. Eustatius Island was generated and distributed by the electricity company GEBE whose headquarters was based on the neighboring island of St Martin.
GEBE maintained the cost per kilowatt hour in St. Eustatius to be the same as that in St Martin with the use of cross-subsidies, however when St. Eustatius became a municipal of the Dutch Kingdom in 2010, GEBE ceases its operation in St. Eustatius and subsidies were the loss. The St. Eustatius utility company (STUCO) was incorporated to take control of the electrical energy production and distribution on the island, however with the loss of the St Martin subsidies STUCO was unable to distribute energy at the cost at which it was previously distributed by GEBE.
3.2 Energy ProfileThe electrical energy generated on the island is provided by a mixture of low-speed diesel generators and a single utility-scale grid-tied solar photovoltaic plant. The diesel generation facility consists of nine caterpillar generators ranging in sizes from 220Kw to 1200Kw producing annually between 13 GWh – 14 GWh of electrical energy. The existing solar generation plant is estimated to have a minimum output of 3.2GWh per year. There are 1,801 customer connections with peak demand ranging from 1.8MW in the winter months to 2.3MW in the summer months, it is estimated that eighty-three percent of the energy is provided by the more expensive diesel generators while twenty-three percent of the energy is provided by solar photovoltaic (STUCO, 2017).
The demand profile within the location of St. Eustatius is consistent. This is consistent with utilities in the Caribbean which has a majority domestic load.
3.3 Generation CapacityThe island has an effective generating capacity of is 8.07MW as indicated in Table 3.1 below. There are also plans to increase the solar photovoltaic generating capacity by 2.2MW in the subsequent segment of 2017 as according to STUCO (2017). The estimated peak power demand of the island in 2016 was at 2.3MW, thou significantly lower than the install effective generating capacity of 8.07MW STUCO is unable to be a profitable organization with the current price structure and generation mix. This current economic challenge has force STUCO to review its electrical energy generating resources and to explore and research the development of alternative energy resources such as solar Photovoltaic.
Table 2: Power Generation Capacity (Aemc.gov.au., 2017)Unit Manufacture Installed Capacity Effective Capacity
1 Caterpillar .545MW .425MW

2 Caterpillar .545MW .425MW

3 Caterpillar .315MW .22MW

4 Caterpillar .545MW .425MW

5 Caterpillar .545MW .425MW

6 Caterpillar .545MW .425MW

7 Caterpillar 1.015MW .9MW

8 Caterpillar 1.45MW 1.2MW

9 Caterpillar 1.325MW 1.2MW

10 Solar PV 2MW 2MW
Total 8.83MW 8.07MW
The national grid is comprised of two 12.5Kv feeders, generators are dispatched manually to meet load demands and typically operation is maintained without spinning reserves. The two biggest generators were recently fitted with the caterpillar engine module control panel EMCP 4.3, this control unit offers precise generator monitoring and protection as well as remote starting, stopping and generator control; hence allowing for greater grid stability and simultaneous operation with the solar farm.
Until June of 2017 consumers paid $0.37per kWh as the electricity bill despite the introduction of the new billing tariff which was effective as from 1st of July 2017. The consumers were required to pay $0.30 per kWh along with a fixed charge of US$5.624 per kVA installed.
Prior to the installation of the 2MWp DC of solar PV, STUCO operated at an annual loss of USD two million dollars. The addition of the solar facility reduced the annual energy generated by the diesel plant by 23% with recorded solar penetration levels as high as 80% and generators operating as low as 30% of their nominal capacity. This places STUCO on track to break even for the year of 2017.
Rechargeable batteries are marked as cost-effective as they are still used for the generation of electricity and also considered ecologically friendly as denoted by Shaahid and El-Amin (2007). St. Eustatius Island; with its available solar resource and now proven track record with solar photovoltaic presents an interesting prospect for such evaluation.
Historically the worldwide energy sector has relied substantially on fossil fuels; however, wind and solar PV development as the alternative source of energy will reduce the dependence on the fossil fuel technology as the primary source of energy. Renewable energy resources, solar PV, wind, geothermal, wave, and biomass have seen their contribution to the energy generation mix gradually increasing and many developing countries have implement regulations or enact directives to ensure that this trend continues. Ireland has set a target percentage of gross energy from renewable energy at 72% for the year 2020 (National Energy Plan, 2007; European Commission, 2009). In St Vincent and the Grenadines, the renewable energy action plan of 2010 sets a projected target of 60% of gross energy output to be from renewable energy sources for the year 2020 (St Vincent and the Grenadines, 2010).
The national grid in St. Eustatius is comprised of two 12.5Kv feeders, generators are dispatched manually to meet load demands and typically operation is maintained without spinning reserves. The two biggest generators were recently fitted with the caterpillar engine module control panel EMCP 4.3, this control unit offers precise generator monitoring and protection as well as remote starting, stopping and generator control; hence allowing for greater grid stability and simultaneous operation with the solar farm.
3.4 Renewable Energy PotentialA study was done by Schelleman and Vanweijsten in June 2006 that evaluated the renewable electricity generation capability on the likes of islands of Saba, Bonaire and St Eustatius. The document titled “Renewable Energy Future for the Dutch Caribbean Islands Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius” concludes that due to the existing conditions of high solar irradiance and good wind climate the islands presented a high favorable potential for renewable electrical energy generation. On St. Eustatius there is potential for Solar PV to be realized in both large-scale solar park or through small-scale decentralize installations (Schelleman and van Weijsten, 2016).
In the study four main renewable energy mix were considered, solar PV, wind energy, geothermal energy and ocean thermal energy conversion with the following situation analysis, 60% renewable energy generation, 80% renewable energy generation and 100% renewable energy generation. However, it is the intent of this research to adopt, as its situation analysis, the assessment of 100% renewable energy generation from solar PV on the island of St. Eustatius.

4.0 CHAPTER FOUR: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY4.1 Study ReconnaissanceBefore the actual study was done, it was significant for the researcher to conduct reconnaissance of the precise desired study location. This enabled the researcher to familiarize with the area of study. Furthermore, the pre-visit enabled the researcher to identify and assemble the relevant tools that were necessary for the actual study. Moreover, carrying out reconnaissance also enabled the process of formulating the relevant hypotheses that were in alignment with the research findings. Besides, the pre-visit that was conducted enabled proper preparation for the actual research works in the St. Eustatius Island. The reconnaissance involved visiting the St. Eustatius Island and interacting with the community as well as observing the topography of the small Caribbean Island.
4.2 Actual study4.2.1 Groundwork stage studyThe groundwork stage involved conduction of the visit to the precise location of the St. Eustatius Island. This visit to St. Eustatius Island was significant in search a way that it enhanced observation of the Island’s topography which facilitated collection and compilation of vital data. Some of the information that was targeted during the groundwork stage comprised of the Island’s electric utility infrastructure, climatic conditions, and electricity demand.
4.2.2 St. Eustatius utility company studySt. Eustatius utility company is a solar energy generating company located on a St. Eustatius Island. The research study involved expert sampling those different types of data was to be obtained regarding the solar energy production in the company. Precisely, some of the research information that was aimed to be obtained included the specific production level of the company and the overall cost of solar energy generation. Besides, specific data on engines such as the type of the models, manufacturers, installed capacity, running capacity, and the date they were installed in the company.
The research study within St. Eustatius utility company targeted a total of 30 respondents within the company’s environment. All the thirty respondents comprised of various experts within the company. This includes experts from the engineering department and people within the financial department. The engineering department participants were required to provide relevant information regarding the solar energy production within St. Eustatius Utility Company. They were supposed to attend to well-structured questions that were presented through interviews and questionnaires. Furthermore, the respondents were supposed to provide the relationships between fundamental factors that are required in facilitating solar energy production that can be sufficient enough to address the island’s energy demand. Lastly, it is the group of experts that were supposed to give their verdicts on the future of solar energy within the St. Eustatius Island basing on the changing deliverables.
On the other hand, financial officers within St. Eustatius utility company proved to be much significant in this particular study as they provided relevant financial information. Precisely, the costs of the resources required set up the solar energy production plant, the installation costs, and the maintenance costs are some of the vital financial data that was to be obtained from the department of finance.
4.3 Research approach
Kort, Caulkins, Hartl, and Feichtinger (2006, p. 1368) explains that deductive reasoning involves carrying out research study with a formulated hypothesis or rather providing solutions to the existing questions that have not been fully addressed as per the available solutions. The approach is best suitable for research studies whose topics have partial information that forms a baseline for the research project. On the other hand, inductive reasoning comprises of collecting precise observations that encourages eruption of the new ideas and theories regarding the outlined research topic.
It was therefore in the researcher’s interest in this dissertation work that a deductive reasoning approach was adopted to provide solutions to the existing theories and ideas. Various scholars and analysts argue that the use of energy produced from the solar has some feasibility regarding when it comes to meeting the demand of the electrical energy in various locations.
The deductive approach was considered as the best reasoning technique since the study involved carrying out extensive research on both primary data and secondary sources to address the hypotheses that bring about the feasibility of the solar photovoltaic energy and energy storage in meeting the electrical energy demand of the small Caribbean Island, St Eustatius. The three variables were chosen basing on the various literature studies that were conducted before the onset of the actual research work. Precisely, the three variables that were targeted in the groundwork stage included the Island’s electric utility infrastructure, climatic conditions and electricity demand. Besides, the deductive reasoning was the best option to adopt as the study aimed at filling the literature gap that existed among the three research variables.
4.4 Research strategyBoth the groundwork stage and the company stage employed quantitative methods of data collection. This method deeply generates a numerical representation of the outlined phenomena. Quantitative research works are known for coming up with research findings that are quantifiable hence a better integration of the existing literature. The quantitative research method is significant in this study since it can be used to quantify the opinions and specific behaviors of the target sample population. Furthermore, the method can be used to test specific hypotheses and provide the specific answers to the research questions as means of numerical representation. It is also the strength of the quantitative research method as the approach directly deals with specific variables and can be used in digging deep information from in extensive research projects.
Quantitative methods of collecting data are very fundamental in research studies that require quantification of the information obtained from the research field. This can be said it is because since the data is in numeric form, the application of various statistical tests can be made without much difficulty. It is important to conduct statistical analysis because the process allows researchers to obtain significant facts from the information collected during the research process. This includes the demographics, preference trends as well as the variations among the groups. Providing data that is descriptive from the research field is one of the advantages of conducting quantitative studies.
The study on the feasibility of using the utility-scale centralized solar photovoltaic generation plant with energy storage as a viable solution to the energy demands within the St. Eustatius Island adopted the use of quantitative methods due to numerous reasons. However, it is a fact the study did have a sufficient sample size that enabled the research process to be conducted with much success. The quantitative research studies work on the principles of the sufficiency of the statistical powers which determines the accuracy of the results obtained from the research project. The sufficient sample size is known by many researchers to have a statistical power that is enough to find out if the information obtained from the research field is accurate or not. It should be noted within the context that small sample sizes are characterized by the insufficient statistical power which impacts the accuracy of the research findings.
It can be said that statistical power is directly related to the sufficiency of the sample size that is used during the research. Increasing the statistical power does increase the sufficiency of the data obtained but only up to a certain level whereby a further increase in the statistical power does not alter the situation.
Kort, Caulkins, Hartl, and Feichtinger (2006, p. 1368) has an assertion that there are four distinct types of quantitative research methods that are largely used by various researchers to collect data from the research field. These four different methods include the correlation research, survey research, causal-comparative research as well as the so-called experimental research. In this particular research study, both the correlational research techniques and the survey research method were adopted as the best quantitative method of data collection. Furthermore, the observation technique was significant in collecting the precise information regarding the topography of the St Eustatius, a Caribbean Island.
The survey-style questions were used to collect primary data due to a myriad of reasons. To begin with, the survey research is the most popular and efficient quantitative method of collecting research data. This is because the method is largely used by numerous researchers as it is easy to conduct and also it is not expensive as compared with the other three quantitative data collection methods (Kazai, Kamps and Milic-Frayling, 2011, p. 1943). The cheapness of the approach does make the respective research project to be financially manageable since the method has very few financial complications. On the other hand, the correlation research was appropriate as the study aimed at establishing the special relationship that might have been in existence among research variables: Island’s electric utility infrastructure, climatic conditions, and electricity demand.
4.5 Data collectionThe research project on evaluation of whether the use of utility-scale centralized solar photovoltaic generation plant with energy storage can be a viable solution to the energy demands of small Caribbean Island used both primary data as well as secondary data sources while filling the literature gap. Primary data refers to the precise information that is derived directly from its source. This includes information from direct observations, questionnaires, and interviews. On the contrary, secondary data refers to the information that is obtained from secondary sources such and peer-reviewed journal articles and textbooks as thoroughly explained by Lupu (2014, p. 578).
The primary data for this underlined research study was derived from the questionnaires and interviews that were designed specifically to address if the use of a utility-scale centralized solar photovoltaic generation plant with energy storage can be a viable solution to the energy demands of small Islands. Furthermore, the data collection methods were structured with the aim of evaluating if investments in putting up large-scale solar photovoltaic generation plants with integrated energy storage can represent a viable economic solution. Moreover, the observation method was solely significant in providing relevant field information to bridge the gap that seemed to exist among research variables of the Island’s electric utility infrastructure, climatic conditions and electricity demand.
On the other hand, secondary data was majorly obtained from numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, relevant textbooks; previous reliable research works and the relevant materials and documents that specifically covered about the energy sector of the St. Eustatius Island. According to Bodnar (2005, p. 3), the secondary data was specifically used to provide relevant content that was significant in other stages of the research project. Like assembling of the useful tools and formulation of relevant hypotheses as well as designing proper questions of both interviews and questionnaires that were appropriate to the study basing on the goals of this particular research study.
Nonetheless, the structure of the interviewing questions and the questionnaire prompts ensured that the information collected from the field was sufficient and relevant to the topic of the study. The data was to be used to fill the literature gap which existed on the specific special relationship associated with Island’s electric utility infrastructure, climatic conditions, and electricity demand. Ospina et al. (2004, p. 56) explain that secondary data is very significant in conducting quantitative research projects. This is because they provide qualitative information that can be used to support the existing theories that are being supported by the primary research.
4.6 Research InstrumentsBoth interviews and questionnaires are used in many research projects and were adopted in this particular study which covers the economic significance of coming up with a centralized solar photovoltaic generation plant with energy storage as a supplement to the renewable sources of energy since they collect perceptions of the respondents and can quantify the collected data. Numerous researchers use the Likert Scale in gauging the consumers’ perceptions in the marketing research projects regarding the precise brands on the research topic (Allen and Seaman, 2007, p.64).
Precisely, a five-point Likert scale questionnaire was used to measure the effect of research variables. This Likert scale questionnaire approach is always used when quantifying the respondents’ subjective perceptions regarding the economic value of the usage of utility-scale centralized solar photovoltaic generation plant with energy storage within the small Caribbean Island, St Eustatius. The study employed the use of the so-called self-administrative questionnaire (Boone and Boone, 2012, p. 3).
4.7 Reliability of the research instrumentsTavakol and Dennick (2011, p.53) have a thesis phrase that the moment a set of the questionnaire is repeatedly distributed to a certain group of respondents and each time the results are the same, such set of questionnaires can be said to be reliable. This study went further to employ the use of Cronbach’s alpha to bring on board the measurement of internal consistency of the designed structures of both interviews and the questionnaires for this particular research study. This research evaluated the technical and economic viability of the proposed solar generation plant using the results obtained from the simulations software, such as PVsyst and RETScreen.
Also, along with other project evaluation methods such as the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), levelized avoided the cost of electricity (LACE), net present value(NPV), Internal rate of return and Simple payback period. According to Kitchenham and Pfleeger (2002, p. 18), reliable research instruments should have the Cronbach’s value of 0.8 hence confirming that this research did use a reliable research instrument. To test on the appropriateness and reliability of the prompts that were given to the respondents, a group of twenty individuals was identified and given the specific questions that that were formulated to be responded to by the identified sample population.
4.8 SamplingThe selected sample is thought to be representative of the entire population since participants from different social classes or family backgrounds were made part of this research. Furthermore, the research involved respondents across all genders. Consequently, the participants of the research were sampled from both the members of the public within the small Caribbean Island, St. Eustatius and the stakeholders within the St. Eustatius utility company (STUCO). The members of the public were expected to give their perceptions regarding the probable extent at which the use of utility-scale centralized solar photovoltaic generation plant with energy storage can be said to reduce the energy demand within the St. Eustatius Island.
To be specific, a total of one hundred questionnaires were distributed to be filled by various respondents within both the public and the organizational settings. On the other hand, fifty respondents were subjected to the well-structured interview questions that they were expected to give their opinions. Besides, this research project comprised a total of one hundred and fifty respondents from which eighty of the participants were men as the rest, seventy individuals, were of the feminine nature.
Purposive sampling was employed while conducting this research study (Palinkas et al., 2015, p. 538). However, the whole sampling process was done as randomly as it had been done in other similar research projects. For instance, the research sampling was done on purpose from different classes so that each member or participant was present to represent the population. Furthermore, from the pool of participants, the selection was based on random selection (Drummond and Rambaut, 2007, p.214). From each pool of participants, for example from the rich pool, middle pool, and lower-class pool, respondents were selected randomly to eliminate the elements of bias that could have risen from the research (Onwuegbuzie and Collins, 2007, p. 306).
The purposive sampling was adopted in this particular study because it is a non-probability type of sampling in which the variables being under investigation are solely based on the researchers’ outcome. The purposive sampling has various sampling techniques that can be employed to achieve various goals and objectives of the given research study. Some of these distinct purposive sampling techniques include maximum variation sampling, homogeneous sampling, typical case sampling, extreme case sampling, critical case sampling, total population sampling, and expert sampling. It is important to that purposive sampling is suitable for the quantitative research projects hence its’ alignment with this study.
The provisions of the purposive sampling ensured that the researcher concentrated on the specific features of the given population in the small Caribbean Island, St. Eustatius Island. The different groups of the population that aligned with both the goals and aims of the research comprised of the residents of the St. Eustatius Island, employees of the St. Eustatius utility company and some strategic locations that were suitable in observing the topography of the island. Among the different types of techniques that are associated with the purposive sampling criterion, it is the expert sampling technique that was adopted to define the nature of the sample population within the environment of St. Eustatius utility company. However, maximum variation sampling was adopted during the groundwork stage.
Heterogeneous sampling is a sampling as that is well-known among a large percentage of the analysts and researchers to be a technique that is specialized in capturing a diversified range of the respondents’ perceptions about the topic of the research. This sampling method was used during the groundwork stage since it enabled the researcher to collect relevant information regarding the Island’s electric utility infrastructure, climatic conditions and electricity demand. It is because of the technique’s provisions that the researcher was able to identify various themes that were similar to the identified research sample.
Expert sampling can be said to be a form of purposive sampling method which is majorly employed when the research study has a clear aim of obtaining desired information from a certain group of experts. It is in the best interest of the small Caribbean Island, St. Eustatius Island that a group of experts within the local community setting, majorly from the St. Eustatius utility company were sampled. They were the respondents to give their perceptions on the feasibility of using utility-scale centralized solar photovoltaic generation plant with energy storage as a viable solution to the energy demands of St. Eustatius Island.
Precisely, expertise sampling can be said to be useful in instances that there is no empirical evidence within the settings of the research background. Furthermore, in the situations that there are high degrees of uncertainty, expert sampling is always considered as the best technique among the group of the purposive sampling criteria. It is, therefore, due to numerous reasons that this research study adopted the use of the expert sampling in determining the relevant research population sample. This can be evidenced by the assertion that the small Caribbean Island, St. Eustatius Island has not yet installed the centralized solar photovoltaic generation plant with energy storage hence primary data got from the qualified energy experts is vital in the success of the desired project.
4.9 Ethical considerationsThe study did observe all the critical stages of research including the authority to collect data from the respective headquarters of the organizations that were involved in this particular study. To be specific, the authorities within St. Eustatius utility company (STUCO) were notified of the research students that involved some of its stakeholders. The consent from the research participants was also considered to be vital in this research hence the research had to seek consent from various individuals and bodies that were involved in facilitating the data collection process. All the respondents were correspondently assured that the information they gave out was to be treated as confidential and accorded the high care they deserved.
To maintain the relevance of the questionnaires and the interviewing process, all respondents were discouraged from exposing some of their private information such as their names and contacts. The participants were also assured that the data acquired was only to be used for the stated purposes and no other hidden intentions were involved as far as the information collected in this research is concerned (Rossi, Hallett, Rossini and Pascual-Leone, 2009, p. 2012.). The researcher had to seek the consent from the respondents after explaining to them the intention and purpose of the study. Finally, the data files were also supposed to be protected and restricted to the access to maintain the highest confidentiality required.
5.0 CHAPTER FIVE: RESULTS, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION5.1 Results and Analysis5.1.1 Power Production
Table 3: Shows the Week-end and week-day production in Kwh for days 2010Hours Thu 30-09 SAT 25-09 SUN 26-09 1 1650 1680 1650 2 1590 1650 1650 3 1520 1550 1550 Kwh
4 1500 1510 1515 Min daily Demand 32400
5 1480 1530 1540 Average Daily Demand 37600
6 1520 1490 1490 Maximum Dialy Demand 43000
7 1470 1390 1460 8 1550 1410 1565 9 1680 1530 1655 10 1800 1550 1770 11 1760 1600 1770 12 1780 1650 1750 13 1840 1710 1870 14 1920 1710 1830 15 1930 1660 1850 16 1870 1660 1900 17 1870 1680 1850 18 1800 1790 1950 19 2150 2100 2050 20 2200 2090 2020 21 2100 2000 2010 22 2050 1950 2020 23 1950 1870 1850 24 1950 1800 1770 TOT 42930 40560 42335 AVG 1789 1690 1764 3-day hourly load demand for warmest time of the year
The results of the research from the three-day study visit in St. Eustatius utility company was successful as the results obtained is significant in the facilitation of the desired project. From the research findings, a typical week day at summer had a total energy production of 42930 kWh with an average of 1789 kWh per hour of energy production whose supply was not at the peak because the weather was hot. The demand was limited in most of households across the Island. On a typical Saturday at summer, the energy production totaled to 40560 Kwh that averaged to 1690 Kwh in every hour. The generation was high and this harmonized the reduced demand thus managing the energy consumption. On the other hand, a typical Sunday in summer had a total energy production of 42335 Kwh. This value on the third day meant that the company produced average energy of 1764 Kwh after every hour.
It is important to note that the level of energy production among the three days varies due to numerous variables. However, the main reason for fluctuation of the level of energy produced can be highly directed by the reduction in commercial activities on the small Caribbean Island, St. Eustatius Island. A typical Saturday recorded a decline of 2370 kWh in energy production as compared to a typical week day of data collection. This means that average level of the energy produced on a typical Saturday also decreased by around 109 Kwh after every hour. While comparing the energy production level of Saturday findings and the results obtained on Sunday, it is easier to notice an increment of 1775 Kwh on the third day.
It is important to note that the minimum daily demand for energy within the St. Eustatius Island is 32400 Kwh. When the findings of total energy production within the three different days are plotted against the minimum daily energy demand in this small Caribbean Island, it is evident that all observed days recorded value of the energy production that is relatively higher than the minimum demand. However, all three days recorded slightly lower values when the production findings are compared with the maximum daily energy demand within the island. The results indicate that the establishment of the solar photovoltaic energy will boost the energy production to meet the underlined demand within the island. Also, regardless of the observed warm weather, it is evident that the current production is still overwhelmed by demand thus the solar photovoltaic energy plant shall aim at generating energy more than the average of the recorded results in the selected three days. However, the solar energy production purely depends on the areas climatic patterns.
Four main factors can be said to have a direct influence on the amount of the solar power production. These factors include sun intensity, heat buildup, cloud cover and relative humidity. Increase in the cloud cover reduces the amount of solar power production. St. Eustatius experience fast moving clouds as per the observation made from the groundwork stage. This fact is the vital reason behind the integration of energy storage systems to maintain grid stability.
When clouds move very fast in the sky, they produce fluctuation in the power outputs of the solar systems. Energy Storage systems, therefore, ensures that a large amount of solar energy is converted to electrical energy without fluctuation in the energy output hence ready to be used for various purposes in households and firms.
The sun intensity is directly related to the amount of solar energy produced at any given location. This means that the higher the intensity of the sun within a given site, the higher the amount of solar energy produced in such a location. On the other hand, a decrease in the sun intensity decreases the amount of the solar energy being produced from the solar panels. Given that the climate of St. Eustatius Island is similar to that of Anguilla, it means that the hottest months of this island are June, July, August, and September as they have an average of average monthly maximum temperature of 30 degrees Celsius while the average monthly minimum temperature is 28 degrees Celsius. This shows that the area has high sun intensity as the temperature is directly related to the sun intensity. This is the hourly load profile for the hottest time of the year for which demand is maximum. It is due to this reason that the data of the solar energy production recorded within three days of September, one of the warmest months in the island, had a large value as far as the total energy production is concerned. The information is ideal for determination of the power generation plant because it outlines that regardless of the time being warm, the demand was never met. The generation of energy is still below the demand of the Island.
The sun intensity of a location is always influenced by the angle at which sun’s rays hit the surface. The location of St. Eustatius was observed to be strategic as the area is located at 17° 29.824’N and 62° 58.400’W. This, therefore, increases the sun intensity that in turn leads to the high conversion rate of solar energy into electrical energy by the help of photovoltaic solar panels. This justifies why the amount of solar energy production within the summer months in the island was very high
Relative humidity refers to the total amount of water vapor that is present in the atmosphere presented as a percentage of the total amount of water vapor that is needed for saturation at a given temperature. Having conducted the groundwork stage study in the area of research, it was found out that St. Eustatius Island has an average of relative humidity of around 59%. However, there was no direct connection of the relative humidity with the amount of solar energy produced during the time results were recorded. It can, therefore, be asserted that despite the range of relative humidity of an area, the deliverable does not influence the amount of solar energy converted into electrical energy.
5.1.2 EnginesFigure 11: Shows the Engines data
The engine data collected from a group of experts within St. Eustatius Utility Company showed that most of the engines performed as per the expected level. This only means that all engines produced output that was nearly close to the capacitated level. Precisely, all engines had a running capacity that was slightly below the installed capacity. This uniformity was observed regardless of the model of the engine or even the manufacturer of the engines. Most of the engines within the St. Eustatius utility company were manufactured by Caterpillar Company. Caterpillar is one of the leading companies in the production of energy equipment across the world. Most of the engine models that are used to produce solar energy in St. Eustatius Utility Company are SR4 and SR4 B with a general code of 3412. However, newer engines were observed to be also of SR4 make but with different codes of 3512B, 3516B and 3516BHD.Table 4: Shows the Engine capacity by the manufacturerUnit Manufacturer Installed capacity Effective capacity
1 Caterpillar .545MW .425MW

2 Caterpillar .545MW .425MW

3 Caterpillar .315MW .22MW

4 Caterpillar .545MW .425MW

5 Caterpillar .545MW .425MW

6 Caterpillar .545MW .425MW

7 Caterpillar 1.015MW .9MW

8 Caterpillar 1.45MW 1.2MW

9 Caterpillar 1.325MW 1.2MW

10 Solar PV 2MW 2MW
Total 8.83MW 8.07MW
The weight and dimension of the engines seemed to be a significant factor in the capacity of the amount of output that engines gave. It was observed that most of the engines that were installed in the recent past were weightier with large dimensions as compared to those engines which were installed initially in the 20th Century. The newer engines had large installing capacity and also had the running capacity that was lower than the installed level. Though there was a uniform trend in the production level of the engines, the research findings show that the newest engine in St. Eustatius Utility Company had the highest efficiency rate. Despite having a lower installed capacity than the 3516B engine, engine 3516BHD had the same running capacity of 1200kW.
5.1.3 Fuel Consumption and DemandTable 5: Shows the Fuel consumption, production and efficiencyYearly fuel consumption
Year Litres consumed Kwh Produced Efficiency
2005 3181556 10364 0.307
2006 3217234 10571 0.304
2007 3252114 11403 0.285
2008 2999718 11264 0.266
2009 3052302 11353 0.269
2010 3360436 12399 0.271
2011 3360436 13057 0.257
2012 3304452 12121 0.273
2013 3590248 13512 0.266
2014 3626743 13443 0.270
2015 3723704 13704 0.272
2016 3070650 13749 0.223
Average:3494337 The table indicates the fuel consumption in the generation of the electricity from 2005 to 2016. The results show a gradual increase in fuel consumption, as energy production increases. At the same time the production of electricity kWh was increasing while the efficiency was fluctuating in a reduction trend. The results indicate how the St. Eustatius Island was spending much on the fossil fuel for the generation of electricity. Nevertheless, various facts can be deduced from the displayed information.
Figure 12: Shows the fuel consumption between 2010 and 2015
Notably, there is a gradual increase in fuel consumption between 2012 and 2015 as denoted in the graph above. Considerably, the demand for electricity has been increasing thus pushing for the concerned body to increase the power production/generation. However, the produced electricity seemed to be inconsistent, but in 2015, the recorded production had gone up. Some facts discuss the gradual fluctuations which are probably due to incorporation of the 1 MW solar energy production facility at 2016. Primarily, the fossil fuels are depleting thus making the resource scarce and costly to access. As a result, better approaches had to be integrated to achieve a higher power production.
Subsequently, the pricing of the fuel did fluctuate as defined by OPEC and this influenced the cost of the fuel consumed. The efficiency of power production had been gradually reducing resulting from the use of smaller inefficient units to meet energy demand. Primarily, the demand for the electricity has consistently continued to increase while the supply remained a little stagnant. The high cost of generating power from fossil fuel makes the efficiency low does the need for the provision of a supplementary source of energy that is renewable.
As observed, there was a reduction in fuel consumption in 2016 because the figure is below average. At this point, the adoption of Solar Photovoltaic energy had taken its course thus supplementing fossil fuels effectively. However, despite reducing the fuel consumption, the power production went up. The observation can be linked to the fact that the dependence of fossil fuel for energy production had reduced. At the same time, there is probability that advanced technology applications had been integrated into the process of power generation resulted in less consumption with high power production.
Also, power production is not constant rather it is fluctuating though the quantity of kWh produced increasing. The production had a direct influence on the efficiency of serving the population. However, demand remained the limiting variable because, despite the increase in production, the efficiency ratio continued reducing. Considerably, the noticed fluctuation of power production has been influenced directly by the kind of technology adopted. The operational costs have been the influential core aspect of power production because if the plant is then allowed to run for a long period due to good maintenance then the higher the production.
Upon introducing new renewable sources of energy, the dependency on fossil fuel as the core source of energy reduces thus less recording in fuel consumption.
A forecast on the generation of power using the fossil fuel can be deduced based on the trends observed. First, there will be a reduction in consumption of fuel due to the outlined variable of technology and alternative sources of energy. Subsequently, there will be an increase in kWh production because of the same mentioned themes. Therefore, upon introducing alternative sources of energy, there will be a consistent increase in demand for electricity as well as the increase in the supply. However, to achieve the forecasted trends, the theme that influences the establishment of these alternative sources of energy must be extensively explored.
5.2 Discussion
5.2.1 Factors influencing the feasibility of the Solar PV generation plant executionProject Funding
The project funding variable checks on the available resources that are necessary for the executing of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project. As observed from the results, the chances of getting the project implemented highly depend on the resources necessary for the installation of the power plant. It is costly to establish such photovoltaic project because of the solar panels and other resources. The variable looks at the effect of finance to the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant. It must be defined to what degree the funds need to be outsourced. The variable discusses capable sources of funds both locally and internationally as well as determining if the finances are outsourced from the local government and the private sector.
Since the cost of establishing the project is high, the variable brings to the attention of grants and loans hence the need of understanding the investment payback. Upon determining the outlined aspects, the variable explores the implication it has for the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project success or failure. As depicted from the details provided, the variable focuses on the general consumer of the electricity and the investor. If the project stumbles, the consumer demand will not be solved, and the investor will make a huge loss, hence, the provision of the incentives that can eliminate the barriers to the renewable energy project. The funding of the project is not an issue because of the Dutch government commitment to deliver a sustainable, profitable, low cost electrical energy sector to the St. Eustatius Island authority.
Transparency and Accountability
The probability of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant to succeed demands the stakeholders’ transparency and accountability. The variable of transparency and accountability addresses the impact of openness of the project alongside the degree to which the project agencies and the general public are accountable. The execution of the project requires intensive research, and it needs to be treated as urgent because the cost of generating electricity using the fossil fuel is ever increasing. The variable checks on the clarity of the project indicators’ deliverables, goals, and measurements to both the public and stakeholders.
The variable is highly connected to the initial stakeholder interaction only that this one reflects further on making the processes involved in the project implementation and the available documents open to the public as well as allowing them to be edited. It is notable that due to political jurisdiction within the Caribbean island, the success of the project will depend on the stakeholders and other agencies openness as they undertake their duties and responsibilities. The variable as well describes the availability of the information that can be used in the decision making thus the success of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant in St. Eustatius Island requires the formal independent processes but not the individual ad-hoc processes. The involved stakeholders are dedicated thus promising that the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant will influence the economy thus executable.
Stakeholder Interaction
In the implementation of a project such as the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant, stakeholders have a big role that they perform. The variable of stakeholders’ interactions defined the relationship of the concerned groups in the establishment of such renewable energy project. It’s an attribute that prioritizes the network interactions for the project rather than the characters defining the institution that aims at executing the solar photovoltaic generation plant. It is a drive that marks the feasibility of solar energy within the St. Eustatius Island. The arising issues of trust and social capital are captured by the interest of the variable to address the mode of communication set and the effort of consultation done.
Based on the response of the STUCO Company research and development personnel, consultants do impact largely on the sector of energy production /generation and storage. The variable as well assesses the stakeholders’ power to influence the investment as they have defined duties and roles. The success of the Solar photovoltaic generation plant will require the strict and clear definition of the stakeholder’s responsibility without any duplication. In such a manner the project will find favor because the Eustatius Island has the potential of multiple renewable sources of energy. The variable as deduced from the interview defines the need for creating awareness among the stakeholders to make sure that they take up their duties correspondingly. The stakeholder’s interactions variable is applied towards determining how successful will it be for this solar photovoltaic generation plant.
Expertise and Knowledge
The Caribbean Island is under political jurisdictions which require the attention of both the local and international stakeholders that manages the investment of the solar photovoltaic generation plant. The variable brings out the concern as if the local stakeholder groups possess the qualified human capacity that may effectively undertake the tasks of developing and maintaining the Solar photovoltaic generation plant as a renewable energy project. The corresponding desirable qualities may include but not limited to engineering, business, procurement, architectural or the management skills.
Utility Structure
The utility structure variable outlines the barriers that are likely to inhibit the development of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant, renewable source energy as per the political jurisdiction. The concept relates to the nature of the Island’s electricity utility within the context of political jurisdiction. The variable reflects on the Solar Photovoltaic generation physical plant that will be used in the production of electricity, nature of transmitting and distributing the generated power, nature of resources such as fuels if needed.
Also, the aspects of Solar Photovoltaic generation plant in regards to the amount of baseload, as well as the peaking plant when reflected upon substantiates why the project is executable. The theme considerably still details on the generated electricity voltage of transmission, distribution and the hourly power loads (kWh). The theme still constitutes the future of the energy source by gauging the competition. Therefore, it can be deduced that the factors outlined do influence the power of integrating grid-tied renewable sources of energy technologies making the project viable.
As part of the utility structure, regulatory scheme theme reflects on the barriers that are associated with the approaches adopted in regulating the use of electric utility in St. Eustatius Island. Various renewable sources of energy such as wind and biogas may as well be considered or executed thus the necessity of having a body that regulates the renewable energy utility. The nature of the established body to regulate the energy utilities may be a governmental agency or a private agency. The variable thus defines how the incentive approaches such revenue cap that can be adopted in regulating the energy generation and distribution.
Technology and Industry
The feasibility of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant and energy storage facilities is as well defined by the theme of technology and industry. The variable outlines the St. Eustatius Island level of technology in the segments of both the renewable as well as the conventional technologies. The level of the constituents may be a barrier or facilitator of innovation in the overall development of renewable energy sector expertise.
The establishment and management of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant as an attribute of the renewable energy industries require a certain level of technology that will ensure efficiency and effectiveness of the plant. While considering the attribute, the investor will learn on the possibility of a competitive market with the respective technology as well as the existence of other entrepreneurs that have enough necessary resources that can execute or develop the industries. The photovoltaic technology gives no excuse for failing to implement the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant.
Government Politics
The government politics have been considered as influential to the economy of the involved country. The variable defines the aspect of setting the political party politics in the establishment of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant as a renewable energy based projects. The attribute involves the establishment of policies strictly by one party or the individual in powers within the line of politics with the focus on driving the development of the renewable source of energy. It is obvious that the drives of the policies may fail or make the project success.
Therefore, the feasibility of executing the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant will require keen consideration of who establishes the policies that guide its development. Majorly, if policies are defined politically, the change of office will affect the policy direction as the succeeding officeholder may change policies that limit the overall execution of the project. The Solar Photovoltaic generation plant will require a common ground of establishing policies now that the Caribbean Island is affected by the political jurisdiction. Despite the existing the political jurisdiction, the project is possible within the Island.
Resource Potential
The St. Eustatius Island is influenced by the factor of political jurisdiction, and the theme of resource potential exemplary relates the project of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant to the number of renewable energy resources that are readily available within the context of political jurisdiction. The variable thinks through the extent of the project resource alongside the underlined sufficient, extensive and rigorous studies conducted to the location of the project establishment location about the level of certainty.
Subsequently, the theme portrays the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant’s establishment feasibility through the consideration of the potential location in the interior of the St. Eustatius Island. The contemplation is about the availability of the resources and the determination if opportunities are existing that may influence the acquisition of energy through the needed resources that have been brought into being by the immediate political jurisdictions. Correspondently, the variable also considered the quantity of the conventional energy sources found within a political jurisdiction context. The aspect is still a hindrance in some sense to the overall development of sources of renewable energy. However, the existing resources confirm that the project is executable.
Regional and International Organizations
The current concern by the regional and international community about energy generation is the limitation of emissions and pollutants that influence global warming and the involvement in nuclear energy generation which is considered dangerous to both plants and animals. The regional organizations have a lot of say on the development of Solar Photovoltaic generation plant as renewable source energy at the Caribbean level.
While investigating this variable, much concentration should be given to the responsibility of the Caricom organization, the sub-regional based institution of Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Caribbean Organization of Electric Utilities (CARILEC). Therefore, the variable provides room for assessing the activities of establishing the renewable energy at three levels; National, subregional and the region. The roles of the associated institutions are coordinated to determine the feasibility of establishing the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant. Therefore, the project is suitable due to the favorable coordination provided.
The international organizations demonstrate the deliberation of the role played by the international community on the entire project of developing the renewable energy (Solar Photovoltaic generation plant) within the political jurisdictions region. It is a must that the project of Solar Photovoltaic generation plant and energy storage is executed within the established international standards which demands the fulfillment of the stipulated requirements.
By giving a thought on the issue, the effect of the countries engaged in both the bilateral and multilateral arrangements must get deliberated. Therefore, the variable analyzes the role of key international agencies. These institutions may include but not limited to United Nations, OAS, World Bank, and IADB among others. The feasibility of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project requires assessment of the impact that the roles of these international organizations have within the context of specific political jurisdictions. According to the preview, the project is viable to be executed.
Natural Environment
A crucial item that must be researched and effectively examined towards providing the conclusive statement about the execution of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant is the friendliness of the project to the natural environment. The natural environment variable outlines the impacts associated with the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project on the natural environment. The chosen renewable source of energy within St. Eustatius Island is the Solar Photovoltaic because it uses the sunlight to generate electricity.
While evaluating the friendliness of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant to the environment, the factors considered are carbon emissions, climate change, impacts on sporadic species, influence on the marine life, pollution of air, water as well as soil quality. Therefore, the variable plays a great role in determining the feasibility of implementing the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project. However, history has outlined that the Caribbean Island is full of renewable sources of energy thus the potential of implementing the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant will impact the economy of St. Eustatius Island. The natural environment is suitable for the establishment of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant and the energy storing facilities.
About the theme, Island diversity defines how the terrain of the location facilitates the convenience of establishing and managing the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant and energy storage facilities project. Notably, the Island is tiny, St. Eustatuis is a single Island but not a single contingent landmass thus defining how the state has limited space for massive Solar Photovoltaic generation plant projects.
It, therefore, drives the engineers to integrate technology that will consider space as a limiting factor. The diversity of the island defines how limited the location can benefit from the attributes of economies of scale. The Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project is at risk due to its vulnerability to climate change and associated environmental impacts, but this is an aspect that can be handled through intensive research and development.
Energy Pricing
Indeed, the variable of energy pricing is powerful because the proposal of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant as the alternative renewable source of energy arose due to the high cost of the electricity which went at a government subsidies cost of $ 0.37 per kWh. Despite the prices being reduced by $ 0.07 per kWh, the cost was still a concern as it indicated the disparity and demand of the electricity and it showed how the consumers were manipulated. The variable outlines the cost of the renewable sources of energy that are under development.
While considering the variable during the analysis of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project feasibility, the cost per kWh of both the generation of energy using the underlined technology and conventional fuels and that of the renewable source of energy within the accentuating political jurisdictions must be examined. The energy pricing variable got the attention of the operational costs instead of the establishment costs as well as the impact of the set oil prices by the OPEC organization for the international market specifically on the renewable projects. The variable details of the economic viability of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant in the long term are hence outlining that the probability of executing the project is 1.
Policy Instruments
The policy instruments variable is great as it focuses on the crucial aspects that must be observed and strictly corresponded. The policy statements defined by the government are crucial towards the provision of necessary support that confirms that successfulness of implementing the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project. The aspects defined by the variable are the legislation, governing regulations and standards and the financial mechanisms that influence the central policy controlling the project. The government will come up with the statements that may ruin or initiate the success of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant and energy storage facilities project through its arms of power.
Prior investigating the variable, it will be easy to determine if the established instruments facilitate the overall achievement of the developed goals outlined within the policy or delimit its execution. Subsequently, upon understanding the existing interactions, better coordination between the aspects may be facilitated thus reducing the barriers to project implementation. The St. Eustatius Island authority understands what it does through to generate the electricity using the fossil fuel a plant which is expensive to run, unlike the proposed Solar Photovoltaic generation plant that has reduced operational costs thus establishing policies that will favor the renewable energy plant execution.
In connection with the variable of policy instruments, government policy emerges to be a further influencer theme. It focuses on the effect that the written policy statements and documents, vision and mission statements, green papers, manifestos and other associated guiding documents have on project management. The Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project is all about the provision of intensive research and development that will facilitate the definition of the policies. The government policy introduces the aspect of determining the effectiveness of the mentioned policies which defines both the engineering part of the project and the management sector the practice of policy formalization.
Psychology and mindset
This theme looked at the influence of the way of thinking in the individual, organization or community on the success of projects. These are often intangible ideas which may be inherited from aspects of culture, history, traditional knowledge, past personal experiences, education systems, religion and other informal institutions. The memes or ideas transmitted through these institutions can often be very important in driving innovation or establishing inhibitors.
These psychological influences impact aspects such as the willingness of political jurisdictions to be leaders or developers as historically they may have sought to follow the lead of developed countries. These psychological aspects are also related to status quo biases which tend to constrain individuals and organizations to maintain the same behavior that they are accustomed to rather than promote change
Individual influence
Some individuals are known for great influence to the operations of a country. Each nation has various people who are considered as the economy controllers. The variable of individual influence reflects on the impact that these powerful people have on the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project execution. They have the degree of legitimacy within the state’s political jurisdiction hence determining the activities especially the ones that directly impact the economy of the country. While assessing the feasibility of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant establishment in St. Eustatius Island, it is necessary to involve these influential people critically in making sure that they do not ruin the project execution because in most cases they are the barrier to projects that does not directly influence their financial status.
The St. Eustatius Island size and population are relatively small hence having a small political jurisdiction. In this context, the known experts or individuals respected have a higher hand in influencing the established policies that govern the development and management of projects. Subsequently, upon involving these influential people, the acquisition of Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project funding from various donor agencies, persons, and private sector will be easier. Therefore, individuals can do a project to prosper or hinder its execution. At times this people may not be such powerful, but they may possess certain great qualities that complement effectively on the handling of the sustainable energy issue within the Island. Therefore, based on the St. Eustatius Island case, the execution of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project will be easily done.
Entrepreneurship
Projects are developed with different objectives. The most identical aspect is that projects are developed to influence the social and economic status of the society thus terming them as entrepreneurship based. It, therefore, means that projects are related to the act of business development. The Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project targets to improve the economy and the social life of the St. Eustatius population. While assessing the variable of entrepreneurship in regards to the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant establishment, it should gauge if there are relative opportunities of the markets for the project that improves the economy (electricity bills).
Also, it should be assessed within the context of examining the available projects of renewable energy are attracting and encouraging entrepreneurship activities within the political jurisdiction. Electricity is the core resource that determines the economic growth of a given region. Therefore, the execution of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project will influence the activities of the St. Eustatius people hence its probability of getting developed is 100% to realize the associated benefits.
Ownership
The credibility of projects is determined by its ownership. On large credits ownership of projects influences the overall development of the underlined project. It is a fact that the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project is beyond the technical meaning of it that determines its success rather its sponsorship will depend on the ownership. In various occasions, project ownership has been named among the core barriers to their development because the technologies employed may not be appreciated by the respective project owner. At all times the ownership of a project defines who control it and thus impacting significantly on the process of making decisions. Therefore, the feasibility of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant and energy storage facility project requires an explicit owner probably the government for better management.
5.2.2 Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project costing case scenarioThe project of establishing the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant is defined with certain expenses incurred during the entire process of acquiring the project resources (procurement process) such as solar panels among others. Other expenses are installation and the operational costs that involve the maintenance of the plant and the overall operational expenses. By taking the case study of the solar photovoltaic energy plant project with an initial estimated cost of $7.78M an annual production of 3200MWh/year, the cost of 1kWh at $0.30 as determined by the government and the operational and maintenance (O & M) cost of $106, 000 the payback time on the investment can be calculated as follows to determine its eligibility.
Payback time (years) = Initial cost ($)
Annual Production (KWh/year) * Value cost of energy ($/KWh) – O&M ($/year)
= $7, 780, 000
3, 200, 000kMh *$0.30 – $106,000
=7, 780, 000
854,000
=9 years
(The payback time is longer than the normal anticipated time of ≤ 5 years thus the project to be reconsidered; however, it depends on the objectives of the project. Thus, there is need to well establish the cost of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project by minimizing the initial establishment expenses to be incurred as possible.)
{The Levelized cost of energy (LCOE) method is majorly used when working with operational project but the case study is about a proposed project meaning it is not yet operational.}
Nevertheless, the concern is about regulating the entire expense rather cost of executing the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant. The most eligible approach is the regulatory strategies that engage the government regulation of the taxes does control the entire public expenses. As a matter of appreciating what should be done, the difference between cost management and cost control must be depicted. Cost management is a practice that involves the planning and controlling of the developed budget of a project.
According to Hansen, Mowen and Guan (2007), it considerably entails the prediction of impending project’s expenditures and thus helping in reducing the chances of going over stipulated budget. Cost control does define the involvement of practices that enable the identification of the concurrent operations that can reduce the project expense to maximize the profits by beginning with the budgeting processes (Hansen, Mowen and Guan, 2007). The concepts both capture the concept of budgeting. Three identical practices illustrate how the cost of establishing the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant could be managed within the defined limits.
Renegotiation of all the contracts on a regular basis
To effectively manage the maintenance and operational costs, the contracts defined must be reviewed on a yearly basis to all that room for acquiring lower costs. Annual bidding or engagement in limited renewal discussions with the underlined service providers always result in low costs. Therefore, to minimize on the solar Photovoltaic generation plant project, the concerned institution should consider adopting the practice of renegotiating all the contracts on a regular basis to get the lowest costs.
Engagement of electricity consumers
The consumers of the energy are in a good position to advise the company on how to manage its operational costs. By engaging them, sensitization on saving energy can be achieved thus making the resource available to more residents as a result managing the demand with the constant supply. Consumers remain the primary factor that can influence the decision-making process. Once they get knowledgeable about the energy conservation, the energy produced will be used accordingly thus sustaining the supply with eth consistent increasing demand.

6.0 CHAPTER SIX: SUMMARY, RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION6.1 SummaryThe research had a purpose of assessing the feasibility of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project that aimed at meeting the increasing demand for electricity. As described in the introduction, the St. Eustatius Island depends much on the fossil fuel for the generation of electricity. However, these fossil fuels are depleting meaning their availability in the future will never be met. The cost of generating energy using the fossil fuel is expensive and increasing its importation affects the economy of the Island. The research has described the solar photovoltaic technology as the core renewable source of energy that should be integrated within the St. Eustatius Island despite the existence of other renewable sources of energy.
In the study, the review of Solar Photovoltaic was exploited including the discussion of the approaches that can be used in deducing of the investment payback as well as the estimated cost of the project. St. Eustatius Island is well defined as having various renewable sources of energy because of its geographic location. However, it is notable that due to the scattered Islands, the region is limited when it comes to executing certain large projects. The generation of power has embraced technology which has seen the reduction in the importation of the fossil fuel yet high power production. The information outsourced showed how the efficiency of meeting the demand for power within the Island reduced regardless of the increase in the energy production.
The interpretation of the data collected indicated that the Island should embrace technology in integrating renewable sources of energy. Correspondently, some identifiable variables or themes described the feasibility of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant within the context of assessing the project influence to the Island project. Certain factors that should be considered while executing the project have been well illustrated within the recommendation segment. Ideally, leadership and management are the arising aspects that the concerned institution must examine to ensure that the project meets its targeted objectives.
In general, the study has provided required understanding about Solar Photovoltaic as a renewable source of energy. The establishment of the project has been well assessed through the generation of a scenario calculating the payback. The case results indicated that executing a project that requires less maintenance and reduced initial investment capital has a high positive payback period that is short. Subsequently, the target is about increased power generation thus the proposal of investing in research and development to develop the best technology that suits the mission of managing the increasing energy demand within the Island.
6.2 RecommendationIt is recommended that the perpetrators of the project engage precise experts as well as professions who have vast knowledge and experiencing as far as the practices within solar power plant environment are concerned. It is this group of experts and professionals that will be able to give their significant perceptions and recommendations that are helpful in the completion of the desired solar photovoltaic power energy plant within St. Eustatius Island. This knowledge from energy experts and professionals is vital in choosing the site location and selecting the appropriate machines that are in alignment with the modern, innovative technology. It should be noted that experts and professions have relevant skills and knowledge that are fundamental in coming up with best approaches that suit the project execution.
The relevant authorities and bodies should venture the investment in the intensive research and other development requirements about solar photovoltaic as a renewable source of energy. It is important to conduct extensive future research that will be aiming at investigating the precise models and types of the materials that are appropriate in building a solar photovoltaic plant that will produce sufficient energy to address the St. Eustatius Island’s energy demand. The intensive research will also lead to finding out on the particular site within the intended location that will enable maximum energy production when the plant is finally erected. On the other hand, it is through conduction of intensive research that the relevant bodies and authorities will be able to make an appropriate estimate of the cost such as the cost for purchasing materials, installation costs and maintenance costs.
Basing on the research findings, the relevant institutions should embrace the modern advancing innovative technology. The act will enable the minimization of the expenses and at the same time increasing the solar energy production. It is advised that the procurement team should consider going for the new machines in the market as their efficiency is high as compared to the older models. The research findings show that despite the engines having the same manufacturing capacity, the newer engines always have the high running capacity that is closer to the engines’ installed capacity. This criterion should, therefore, be used while looking for the appropriate machines to be installed for the proposed solar photovoltaic power plant. Correspondently, advanced technology should be integrated within the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant to ensure that the operations of the plant are automated thus reducing the overall operational and maintenance costs.
It is also important for the relevant bodies and authorities within St. Eustatius Island to invest largely in the mass education of the energy consumers. Energy consumers are significant figures in the chain of electricity since it is due to their demand that solar photovoltaic power plant is proposed to be built up within the small Caribbean Island, St. Eustatius Island. Educating the consumers on their general conduct with the electricity can be very much helpful. For instance, the general public should be taught on the appropriate mechanisms and significance of saving energy to ensure that the increasing energy demand within the island is met. The aspect outlines the need for engaging the energy consumers in the management of the project. In any enterprise context, involving customers always attracts loyalty and mode of understanding best how to improve the business. Therefore, at this point, the concerned institution should involve consumers from the word for easy educating them as well as decision making.
Moreover, a private agency company should be established within St. Eustatius Island to monitor the solar photovoltaic power generation plant. However, this agency should be made to work in collaboration with the government’s relevant ministry. This will enhance the efficiency of the plant as the whole system will be put under regular inspections to ensure that every part of the plant is operating appropriately hence there will be maximum solar power production that is efficient to meet the island’s energy demand.
The mandated bodies should ensure that there is the definition of appropriate policies that will ensure that the desired proposed solar photovoltaic power generating plant project meets the provided international standards of the energy producing plants as far as the different endeavors within the energy production and related operations are concerned. This will inhibit the prone occurrences of various risks that might be hazardous to both internal and external environment s of the power plant location. Policies and procedures established should make sure that the project meets the regional requirements as well as the local stipulated regulations.
It is also important for the project perpetrators to subject all associated stakeholders in training processes that will enhance acquisition of the significant skills which are helpful in not only installing the plant machines but also running the entire project. Through thorough training practices, stakeholders will be able to understand the nature of the relationship among them that will help in the execution of the proposed solar photovoltaic energy power plant. Presence of the positive relationship among the stakeholders is appropriate in fostering fast decision-making processes hence improving the production level of the power plant. Furthermore, good relationship with production organizations such as the proposed project plays an important role in enhancing understanding of the responsibilities of every department as well as each. However, this can only achieve when stakeholders within the given institution have a good leadership team.
It is also recommended that the concerned bodies should settle on the strategic location which will ensure that there is maximum solar energy production. This calls for ensuring there is a clear outline of the planned events and tasks as far as setting the solar photovoltaic power generating plant is concerned. Since the topography of St. Eustatius Island is fairly level, there is little requirement for leveling the land surface. Nonetheless, the precise solar absorbing panels should be staged in a clear place that allows direct penetration of the light rays. This will enhance maximum absorption of sunlight. As a result, the amount of the energy produced from the proposed solar photovoltaic power generating plant will be enough to meet the increasing energy demand in St. Eustatius Island. However, considerations should be put in place to ensure that all the environmental considerations are put in place. Hence there are no traces of the environmental pollution.
Furthermore, the perpetrators of the proposed solar photovoltaic power generating plant should put into consideration that some suppliers are not genuine since they tend to supply goods that do not meet the provided international standards. It is therefore recommended that an extensive inquiry regarding the manufacturers of the quoted materials for purchase is made to acquire the desired quality facilities and equipment that are significant in the completion of the proposed solar power generating plant.
6.3 Conclusion
Having a closer look at the findings from the research study, it is evident that both human geography and physical geography are favorable in coming up with a solar photovoltaic energy power plant that will be able to address the current situation in the energy sector on St Eustatius. St. Eustatius Island is a small Caribbean Island that can be said to have climatic factors similar to that of Anguilla. Since this island is strategically located in an area that receives high sun intensity, it is true that the region can embrace the use of solar panels to address its rising energy demand.
The fact that the topography of the region is fairly flat means that there are reduced instances of shadows resulting from physical features such as raised grounds. The surrounding ocean water provides the best surface on which the sun’s rays are reflected back into the land. Besides, the area experiences fast moving clouds that allow easier penetration of the sun’s rays into the island. Therefore, the strategic location and the climatic conditions of the small Caribbean Island do provide a good platform for the solar energy production. These conditions can be said to be favorable for the establishment of the solar photovoltaic energy power plant within St. Eustatius Island.
Numerous human factors favor the solar energy production on the island. Some of these factors include the engagement of electricity consumers, renegotiation of all the contracts on a regular basis, ownership, entrepreneurship, individual influence, psychology and mindset, and policy instruments. Also, energy pricing, regional and international organizations, resource potential, government politics, technology and industry, utility structure, expertise and knowledge, stakeholder interaction, transparency and accountability, and project funding.
The project funding is important in examining the available resources which are necessary for the successful execution of the Solar Photovoltaic generation plant project within the Caribbean region, St. Eustatius Island to be precise. Basing on the findings from the research, the available resources more so financial resources are vital in the installation of the solar photovoltaic power project as the variable directly determines the probability of the success as far as implementing the project is concerned.
Transparency and accountability is another important variable in the implementation of the research project. Since the establishment of the solar power production plant is a demanding affair, all the stakeholders within the settings of the project have to pose the virtue of being transparent and accountable. The admirable stakeholders’ accountability and transparency lead to proper allocation of the funds and the procurement processes are also genuine since the entire group of individuals associated with the project is transparent and accountable.
St. Eustatius Island can be said to be a small region that is associated with people who have a lot of expert knowledge on the matters of solar energy production. This knowledge can easily be incorporated into the proposed solar photovoltaic power plant generation that will be significant in addressing the increasing energy demand in the island. The group of experts is important not only in the installation of the heavy machinery of the power plant but also in providing vital information concerning the precise type and models of those types of machinery. Furthermore, running of the power plant requires the individuals with expert knowledge to maximize the amount of solar energy produced within the environment of the proposed power plant.
It is also important to note that St. Eustatius Island is characterized by advancing modern technology. The availability of the advanced innovative technology within the island increase chances of the success of the project when it is implemented. This is because the island is strategically located at the place is easily accessible. The connection of the island with outside world has enhanced the improved technology and industrial variables that are essential in the execution of the project. As a result, there is free movement of people from outside world to the island as well as moving away from the island to the outside world. This, therefore, enhances the embracement of the new technology in the island which can be incorporated to result in maximum solar energy production that is sufficient to curb the increasing energy demand.
In general, the physical factors and the human geography within St. Eustatius Island favor the production of the solar energy. Ranging from the natural environment to the human factors such as ownership and utility as well as the project cost is at a better place of ensuring the success of the project implementation. Having a closer look at various variables, it is, therefore, true that there it is feasible to use solar photovoltaic energy and energy storage to meet the electrical energy demand of the small Caribbean Island, St Eustatius.
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Yard, S. (2000). Developments of the payback method. International journal of production economics, 67(2), pp.155-167.
Appendices
Appendix A: Project Management
Original Project Proposal
General Information
Brunel University
Distance Learning Programme
MSc in Building Services Engineering
Project Form III: Project Proposal
Name Delbert Simon
Date: July 8th 2017
Student Number 1038192
Proposed Title
Renewable Off-Grid Electricity a feasibly alternative in the Caribbean
Dissertation Tutor
Dr Hilary Stone
External Advisor (if any) Contents Page
Introduction
Background
Aim and Objectives
Summary of Methodology
Gantt Chart
References
2
4
5
6
7
7
Introduction
In most Island states, a significant percentage if not all their electrical energy is generated from the burning of fossil fuels. Except for Trinidad and Tobago in the south, the Caribbean Islands are completely dependent on the importation of fossil fuel to meet their fuel and electricity demands. Many knowledgeable experts forecast that peaking of conventional oil production will occur sometime within the next 20 years. Given today’s oil demand levels and usage patterns, such a forced disruption would have severe negative impacts on the economies of all oil-importing nations [1]. The Caribbean Islands are therefore forced to look at alternative source of energy to mitigate the short fall in fossil fuel supply. One such alternative energy source is solar energy.
Renewable energy sources are defined as, sources that are continuously replenished by natural processes [2]. Solar energy is an example of a renewable energy source, harnessing solar energy to provide electricity directly involves the use of different and sophisticated technology called solar photovoltaic (PV) [3]. In the past, the high cost of solar PV components, the low efficiencies of the PV modules and the variability of the energy supplied from solar PV rendered the application of solar PV for large scale energy production and integration to be one of less promising amongst alternative source of energy. However, improvements in technology which resulted in the increased efficiency of solar PV modules and methods to address the variability of the energy supplied; coupled with reductions in the cost of solar PV components has made the price of solar PV systems competitive when compared to the prices of other power generation technology.
St. Eustatius Island like many other Caribbean Islands is bombarded with vast amount of solar radiation. A look at the average insolation level for St. Eustatius Island reveals that St Eustatius receives a relatively high amount solar radiation of between 4.92 kwh/m2 /day and 7.64kwh/m2 /day annually with an average number of sunlight hours of between 11.1 and 13 hours per day [4]. This shows that St. Eustatius has significant potential for the development of solar energy projects. Solar PV is considered by many to be the fastest growing power technology world-wide, however the Caribbean trails the rest of the world in its application and major development of energy projects.
Prior to 2010, electricity on the Island of St Eustatius was produced and distributed by the St Maarten base utility company GEBE, retail prices on both Islands were kept at the same level by cross subsidies. In 2010 St Eustatius became a special municipal of the Netherlands, the St Eustatius Electricity Company (STUCO) was formed and all electricity production and distribution assets of GEBE on the Island were transferred to STUCO. Subsidies were lost from St. Maarten and an increase in the retail price for electricity was imminent, this was politically unacceptable to the local government hence the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (MEA) decided to subsidize retail prices. To curtail STUCO’s dependence of imported fuel and to decrease further subsidies on retail prices, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (MEA) decided to subsidize investments in a solar PV facility and power management.
In March of 2016 the St Eustatius utility company commissioned its first solar PV generation facility of 1.9MWp DC with a 1MW DC/560kWh battery, the sole function of the battery is grid stability and ramp rate control. The intent of this dissertation is to determine the size of solar PV generation plant and storage capacity that will be required to meet to the Island’s total energy requirement and to assess if the advancement in technology and subsequent reduction in cost of solar PV system has resulted in solar PV becoming a viable option for utility scale renewable energy electricity generation in a small Island setting.
Background
St Eustatius Island is a 21 square kilometres Dutch municipal in the Northern Caribbean with a population of 4000 inhabitants. The electricity demand is met by the combination of a 1.9MWp DC grid tied solar photovoltaic generation plant and a single diesel generation facility which consists of nine caterpillar generators ranging in sizes from 220Kw to 1200Kw producing annually between 13 GWh – 14 GWh of electrical energy. The existing solar generation plant is estimated to have a minimum output of 3.2GWh per year. There are 1801 customer connections with peak demand ranging from 1.8MW in the winter months to 2.3MW in the summer months.
The demand profile on St Eustatius is very consistent with peaks at midday and early afternoon, the early afternoon peak is greater than that of the midday. The national grid is comprised of two 12.5Kv feeders, generators are dispatched manually to meet load demands and typically operation is maintained without spinning reserves. The two biggest generators were recently fitted with the caterpillar engine module control panel EMCP 4.3, this control unit offers precise generator monitoring and protection as well as remote starting, stopping and generator control; Hence allowing for greater grid stability and simultaneous operation with the solar farm.
Until June of 2017 consumers paid $US 0.37per kWh for electricity, however with the introduction of a new tariff structure as of the of the 1st of July 2017 consumer will now pay $US 0.30 per kWh along with a fixed charge of US$5.624 per kVA installed.
Prior to the installation of the 2MWp DC of solar PV, STUCO operated at an annual loss of USD two million dollars. The addition of the solar facility reduced the annual energy generated by the diesel plant by 23% with recorded solar penetration levels as high as 80% and generators operating as low as 30% of their nominal capacity. This places STUCO on tract to breakeven for year of 2017. Various combinations of renewable energy sources (such as wind, solar PV, etc.) and diesel generators with/without rechargeable batteries are currently being researched (for electricity production) and are marketed as cost-effective and ecologically sound solutions in a long run [5]. St Eustatius Island; with its available solar resource and now proven track record with solar PV presents an interesting prospect for such evaluation.
Aim and Objectives
General Aim
To assess how feasible it is to use solar photovoltaic energy and energy storage to meet the electrical energy demand of the small Caribbean Island, St Eustatius.
Objectives
To evaluate if the use of utility scale centralised solar photovoltaic generation plant with energy storage can be a viable solution to the energy demands of small Islands.
To evaluate if investments in the construction of these large scale solar photovoltaic generation plant with integral energy storage represents a viable economic solution.
Summary of Methodology
To accomplish the proposed objectives the following approach will be adapted.
The ground work stage involves a visit to St Eustatius Island to view the Island’s topography and compile data of the Island’s electric utility infrastructure, climatic conditions and electricity demand.
The information received from the St Eustatius utility company (STUCO); along with solar irradiance data of St. Eustatius Island and obtained from online sources will be used to simulate a model of a solar photovoltaic generation plant with energy storage to meet the Island’s electrical energy demand. Solar photovoltaic simulating and planning software such as PVsyst and RETscreen will use for this undertaking.
Evaluate the technical and economic viability of the proposed solar generation plant using the results obtained from the simulations software, such as PVsyst and RETScreen along with other project evaluation methods such as levelized cost of electricity(LCOE), levelized avoided cost of electricity(LACE), net present value(NPV), Internal rate of return and Simple payback period
Gantt chart
Table 1. Project Dissertation Gantt Diagram

References
[1] Hirsch R., Bezdek R. and Wendling R. (2005) Mitigating a long-term shortfall of world oil production. World oil. Volume 226.no5. Extracted Online from: www.misinet.com/publications/world-oil-may-05.pdf
[2] Dunlop J. P (2010) Photovoltaic systems.
[3] Boyle G, Everett B & Ramage J. (2003) Energy Systems and Sustainability.
[4] Stackhouse P.W (2017) NASA Surface meteorology and Solar Energy. Extracted Online from: https://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/cgibin/sse/grid.cgi?&num=243108&lat=17.28&submit=Submit&hgt=100&veg=17&sitelev
=&[email protected]&p=grid_id&p=swvdwncook&p=swv_dwn&p=daylight&p
=ret_psh0&p=no_sun1&p=surplus1&p=day_cld&p=T10M&p=wspd10arpt&p=pct10m_
wnd&p=RH10M&p=toa_dwn&step=2&lon=62.58
[3] Boyle G, Everett B & Ramage J. (2003) Energy Systems and Sustainability.
[5] Shaahid S.M., El-Amin , I. (2007). Techno-economic evaluation of off-grid hybrid
photovoltaic–diesel–battery power systems for rural electrification in Saudi Arabia—A
way forward for sustainable development, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews,
Volume 13, Issue 3, 2009, Pages 625-633 Extracted online from
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032107001694?via%3Dihub
II. REVIEW AND REFLECTION OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT
This section highlights the major issues and difficulties with which was confronted during the execute to this dissertation project and how their influence on accomplishing each objective.
Literature Review
The study of the electrical utility infrastructure in St Eustatius, topography and climatic condition in this region were crucial in the development of this project. The data obtained was used to inform the generating capacity of the island’s utility and its current cost of operation. The climatic and topography assessment inform of the Solar PV energy potential of the island. Data regarding the generation on Solar PV energy on the island was very limited due to the lack of extensive research regarding the use of Solar PV for large scale electrical energy generation on the island of St. Eustatius.
Methodology
Due to the lack of published data on the electrical infrastructure and Solar PV potential on St Eustatius, it was essential to travel to the island nation to approach and be introduce to the owners and operators of the electrical utility to secure access to their generating plant and recorded data. The data collection process was simple and straightforward and was completed without delay or unforeseen occurrences. Depart from the island was delay due to flight cancellation, however this didn’t hinder the process of reviewing and assessment of the data collected.
Comparison of Actual project time with Original project schedule
The propose project schedule outlined an estimated background review and initial proposal period from the begging of May until Mid-July, with the literature review beginning in mid-June and extending until the ending of July. The original project schedule is shown below.

Due to delays in the collection of data the simulation only began in the first week in July. Major setbacks were experienced because of severe natural disasters, personal injury and bereavement, resulting in other miles’ stones being moved to other dates. The final draft was presented to the supervisor in the second week of June. The actual Gantt chart is shown of time plan is shown below.

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