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Techno-economic feasibility analysis of Benban solar Park

By 2035, Egypt pursues to generate 22% of the total electricity from photovoltaic power plants to meet the national spreading demand for electricity. The Egyptian government has implemented feed-in tariffs (FiT) support program to provide the economic incentives to invest in the PV power plants. The present study is carried out to evaluate the techno-economic feasibility of a largescale grid-connected photovoltaic (LS GCPV) of the Benban Solar Park with a total capacity of 1600 MW AC producing annual electricity of 3.8 TWh. The characteristics of PV panels considering the meteorological data of Benban Solar Park are evaluated. Additionally, the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions due to constructing Benban Solar Park is assessed. As well, the influences of annual operation and maintenance cost and the interest rate on the electricity cost and the payback period are evaluated. The results indicate that the electricity cost is about 8.1¢US/kWh with 10.1 years payback period, which is indeed economically feasible with an interest rate of 12%. Furthermore, the Benban Solar Park will avoid annually almost 1.2 million tons of greenhouse gas. The working conditions of the previous study which aimed to improve the performance of solar panels using cooling water are similar to the Benban solar Park. This study showed that utilizing of water cooling for solar panels leads to an increase in the electrical energy output by 8.2%. This attributed to maximizing the benefit when cultivating the vast land area on which the station is built, and using the irrigation water to cool the PV panels, and then for the irrigation process. Thus, a double advantage can be achieved; first, an increase in the electrical energy output by 8.2% in the summer months where the panel surface temperature is high. Second, the agricultural crops as an economic value, as the solar panels are located at a height of 1.5m from the surface of the earth. The PV solar panels are installed above the existing cultivated areas while the maintained spaces among rows of PV modules provide the necessary solar radiation for crops.