This paper discusses the technical, financial, and economic principles underlying the levelized cost method of computing the cost of solar electricity. Topics include the levelized cost method, solar radiation, solar panel efficiency, depreciation, cost of capital, fixed and variable operating and maintenance costs, and taxes. The paper includes the worksheet, “Levelized Cost Worksheet for a 1 kW Solar Electric Generating Plant.” Its benchmark values are for a model solar plant located in Chicago, IL. The paper discusses these benchmark values as it analyzes the worksheet’s constants (capacity-1 kW, 8,760 hr/yr), independent variables (capital cost-$/kW, cost of capital-%, physical life-yr, standard sun hours, fixed and variable O & M expense), and dependent variables (capital amortization expense, capacity factor, cost of solar electricity).
A Financial Worksheet for Computing the Cost (¢/kWh) of Solar Electricity Generated at Grid Connected Photovoltaic (PV) Generating Plants
Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of the THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS for publication in the ASME JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the ASME Solar Energy Division, January 2001; final revision, January 2002. Associate Editor: C. Vargas-Aburto.
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Stavy , M. (August 1, 2002). "A Financial Worksheet for Computing the Cost (¢/kWh) of Solar Electricity Generated at Grid Connected Photovoltaic (PV) Generating Plants ." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. August 2002; 124(3): 319–321. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1488162
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