This paper analyzes the electricity production potential and economic viability of grid-connected wind/photovoltaic (PV) energy systems at two coastal cities, Yanbu and Dhahran in Saudi Arabia. First, wind energy is assessed based on the hourly wind speed observation data recorded over the entire year 2013 in the selected locations. Electricity generation potential is estimated using two wind turbines: Vestas V82 and V90 models. The results indicate that both locations have sufficient wind resources for wind turbine operation. Strong wind resources are more common at Dhahran than at Yanbu with wind speeds above 3.5 m/s, accounting for 60.12% of the wind data at Dhahran, which is higher than 51.2% of Yanbu. Grid-connected hybrid systems using Vestas V90 wind turbines had the highest net present cost (NPC) compared with other configurations. The inclusion of battery storage units slightly increases the NPC. Surprisingly, systems with the highest NPC produced the least electricity. In contrast, cheaper V82-based systems had the lowest NPC and levelized cost of energy and produced the most electricity. Hence, a grid-connected wind/PV system using V82 turbines is most economically viable. Incorporating a small battery storage unit in the systems minimizes capacity shortages and improves reliability at minimal extra cost. Using different wind turbines with a lower cut-in speed of 3 m/s could increase the electricity production, as 9.1% and 10.3% of wind observations at Yanbu and Dhahran, respectively, had a wind speed of 3 m/s.
Energy production potential and economic viability of grid-connected wind/PV systems at Saudi Arabian coastal areas
Makbul A. M. Ramli, Ssennoga Twaha, Abdulaziz U. Alghamdi; Energy production potential and economic viability of grid-connected wind/PV systems at Saudi Arabian coastal areas. J. Renewable Sustainable Energy 1 November 2017; 9 (6): 065910. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5005597
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