Economic feasibility of campus-wide photovoltaic systems in New England

Creative Commons License

Lee J., Chang B., Aktaş C. B., Gorthala R.

RENEWABLE ENERGY, vol.99, pp.452-464, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 99
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.renene.2016.07.009
  • Journal Name: RENEWABLE ENERGY
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.452-464
  • Keywords: Renewable energy, Solar photovoltaic, Economic feasibility study, Environmental impact, Campus-wide PV, New England, PV SYSTEMS, SOLAR PV, COST, PERFORMANCE, ELECTRICITY, POLICIES, ARIZONA, IMPACTS, PANELS, PLANT
  • TED University Affiliated: No


Compared to the national average residential retail electricity price, Connecticut (CT) had the 4th highest electricity price in the country with 19.23 cents/kWh in September 2015, nearly 50% higher than the national average for price of electricity. This study aims to assess the economic feasibility of the solar PV systems at the campus under realistic constraints, by analyzing actual data from the solar array on campus. The project focused on the economic feasibility of solar PV systems on campus with physical, spatial, and practical constraints that result in a project to deviate from theoretical (estimated) values. To achieve that, the prediction of the PV power generation from the building was developed and compared with the actual (measured) data. The average payback period of a campus-wide PV system was calculated as primarily 11 years, within a range of 8-12 years, and was estimated to reduce overall building operating expenses by $250,000, or 8%.