Solar Energy Favourability Map: Inventory of solar energy project sites in BC - BC-444Desired discipline(s): Engineering - other, Engineering, Resources and environmental management, Natural Sciences
Company: BC Hydro
Project Length: 4 to 6 months
Preferred start date: As soon as possible.
Language requirement: English
Location(s): Vancouver, BC, Canada
No. of positions: 1
Preferred institutions: Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia, University of British Columbia Okanagan, University of Northern British Columbia, University of the Fraser Valley, University of Victoria, Vancouver Island University
About the company:
BC Hydro is a Crown corporation mandated to generate, manufacture, conserve, supply, acquire, and dispose of power and related products. BC Hydro provides over 4 million customers with electricity, using a network of approximately 79,000 km transmission and distribution lines and over 300 substations.
Please describe the project.:
BC Hydro is initiating a review of electricity supply options as part of the upcoming Integrated Resouce Plan. Solar electricity generation – at both the utility scale and at the distributed scale - is an increasingly competitive resource option in other jurisdictions, but it remains largely unexplored in BC. The task at hand is to produce an inventory of technically viable potential solar generation sites in BC – both utility scale (~100 MW) and distributed scale (~5 MW) – and to characterize these sites in terms of cost and energy production characteristics.
- Identify relevant criteria for determining a technically viable solar project in BC
- Build GIS tool for favourability mapping of solar resources in BC
- Estimate impact of geographic features on solar project development in BC
- Create solar favourability map in BC and inventory of technically viable solar resources
The research to be conducted as part of this project will be:
- Investigate the minimum geographic requirements of a technically viable potential site eg. slope of less than X degrees, appropriate zoning types, minimum anual insolation, minimum contiguous available footprint, maximum distance from transmission infrastructure etc
- Using GIS tools and available GIS information layers for above criteria, identfiy all technically viable ~100 MW solar project sites.
- Conduct literature review to estimate total installed cost of ~100 MW facilities at each site based on available site criteria (eg base cost of $X/MW installed, increases of $Y/MW for some specific land types to account for additional installation costs)
- Estimate annual electricity production at each site based on annual insolation figures and efficiency of solar conversion and inverter equipment
- Conduct similiar review for smaller 5 MW distributed solar sites that would be connected to <25kV distribution network.
• GIS skills
• Basic familiarity with energy project development processes and financial accounting