Solar Prefeasibility analysis

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A prefeasibility study (of a project) is a preliminary analysis undertaken to determine whether it would be worthwhile to proceed to the feasibility study stage. (Source: The pre-feasibility study builds confidence among stakeholders and potential users of a project.

Putting it in perspective, investing in a Solar plant (whether Rooftop PV or Solar farm) requires considerable amount of time, resources and investment. So whether you are a homeowner wanting to install a 1 kW Solar plant on your roof or a large company investing in a Utility scale Megawatt (MW) size Solar farm, the first question that would come to mind is whether the investment is worthwhile. This is where pre-feasibility analysis comes into action.

There is a lot more to it but I would like to broadly categorize the process in 3 simple steps
Step 1: Pre-feasibility analysis
• Determination of Solar and Climate data to understand potential electricity output
• Determination of system size which includes number of Solar PV panels, inverters, batteries, etc
• Cost of the system
• Return on Investment

After the pre-feasibility analysis is performed and if the project looks favourable the next step is to go a bit further and consider even the macro-environmental factors. This is the feasibility stage and some of its components are listed below.

Step 2: Feasibility analysis
• Solar/Climate data using ground mounted measuring instruments
• Land acquisition
• Company strength and track record
• Joint Venture (optional) in place
• PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) with the local Utility
• Government approvals
• Forest / Village approvals
• Technical feasibility
• Financial feasibility, etc.

Step 3 – Execution
The execution part is a lengthy topic in itself and is not the intention of this article so will not delve any deeper.

Now Step 2 above requires expert consultative advice or for a large company would mean time and efforts of its employees, each of which comes with an associated cost. So in order to be sure of getting into the feasibility stage it is advisable to perform a preliminary analysis first.

Helical Power has developed ‘The HeliCAL report’ which is an instant online prefeasibility report providing Solar prefeasibility analysis for any site in the world. This helps one make an informed decision prior to making investment in a Solar plant.

So what does HeliCAL report provide?
HeliCAL Report has two variants, Basic and Premium which the user can choose as per their requirements.
The Basic report consists of
• Site solar and climate data
• System sizing
• System losses
• Performance Ratio (PR)
• Etc…

The Premium report consists all of the basic plus in addition to this provides 25 years’ worth of financial analysis which includes
• Internal Rate of Return (IRR)
• Net Present Value (NPV)
• Payback period
• DSCR Ratio
• Levellised tariff
• Etc…

So how is HeliCAL report useful
• Compare technologies – Helps in in choosing the technology which will yield maximum output
• Compare projects –Helps comparing projects to choose one with a better Return on investment
• Financial analysis – Provides Cashflow, NPV, IRR, payback period, etc

Who can use HeliCAL report?
Below is a list of some stakeholders that can benefit from HeliCAL report
• Homeowners – Quick understanding about system cost
• Banks / Investors – Early due diligence before making investments
• Solar panel installers – Can customize it with their logo and use it as a proposal for their clients
• EPC companies – Helps in choosing the technology which will yield maximum output
• Developers – Helps in choosing the most profitable project or technology

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