Assessment of Large Scale Photovoltaic Power Generation from Carport Canopies

Abdulsalam S. Alghamdi, AbuBakr S. Bahaj, and Yue Wu

Energies 2017, 10(5), 686;


Reliance on fossil fuel-driven energy supply is a major contributor to global emissions. In order to stay within the Paris Agreement’s temperature rise limits, current and growing energy consumption will need to be significantly underpinned by deployment of low/non-carbon power generation. This work promotes power generation at the megawatt scale from solar photovoltaics (PV) systems deployed in untapped car parking areas, which are estimated to represent up to ~6.6% of the urban footprint within cities. The methodology developed is globally applicable to support PV development, including site selection and PV array configuration. It is underpinned by a case study in a university campus, which has a similar footprint as assigned in cities for vehicle parking. The methodology demonstrates that less than 1% of the available parking spaces are affected by shadows from surrounding buildings or vegetation. The work shows that by utilising such parking areas within the selected campus a PV installation with a capacity of ~36.4 MWp, which can generate ~66.2 GWh of electricity annually, would be feasible. Financial analysis based on multiple scenarios indicates that a 50% return on investment is achievable over 25 years at an export tariff of USD ¢4.5/kWh, which is commensurate with the latest granted bids for a similar export tariff. View Full-Text

Keywords: sustainable energysolar photovoltaicsgeographic information systemsPV carportresource assessmentsSaudi Arabia

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Alghamdi, A.S.; Bahaj, A.S.; Wu, Y. Assessment of Large Scale Photovoltaic Power Generation from Carport Canopies. Energies 201710, 686.