Total Electricity Demand Coverage with Solar Energy Systems in La Guajira-Colombia. A techno-economic case study.
Bolivar Pimienta, C.M.
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Colombia has set several goals to improve its energy system. With the current National Energy Plan the country aims to increment the projects of renewable energy sources like solar and wind across its territory. But the implementation of this plan faces different social and technical challenges. La Guajira is a region in which these challenges are more prominent historically. From reliability to coverage, the electricity supply in the region has always been unstable. This research aims to assess the possibility to cover all the electricity demand of La Guajira with the use of Solar PV applications with battery storage. This is done by first characterizing the residential electricity demand of the region, identifying the main uses of electricity by the different members of the population. Historic electricity demand is collected and then projected to the year 2050, that is the timeframe set for the current National Energy Plan. The availability of the solar energy resource in the region is evaluated identifying the best position to locate solar farms, based on the total annual solar irradiance. With three different possible configurations for solar generation systems that include PV panels, Inverter, Microinverters, Single Axis Tracking System, and Battery System, a technical assessment is carried out. It is measured the technical performance of every possible configuration, and it is established the number of components needed to cover the electricity demand of La Guajira year by year from 2022 to 2050. The research concludes with an economic assessment of the choices proposed. This analysis gives a similar LCOE for two of the configurations that are kept as final alternatives for the region. The configuration that includes the Single Axis Tracking System was left out, as it had a higher LCOE than the values currently used in the market.