Feasibility study for a grid-connected solar-PV system for personal consumption
CREEC, as a consultant, has carried out a feasilibility study to assist a leading Ugandan company reduce its energy costs through the use of a solar‑PV system. Due to one of the highest electricity rates in East Africa of approximately 0.17 USD/kWh – 0.20 USD/kWh and the sunny location of Uganda, the costs per unit of electricity generated by grid‑connected solar systems can be below the price of the national grid. Prices of solar-PV systems have reduced significantly over the last years. Currently unit prices of solar‑PV grid-connected can be in the range of 0.10 USD/kWh – 0.18 USD/kWh in Uganda.
Therefore the implementation of a solar system not only reduces the fuel consumption of generators during power-cuts, but also the energy consumed from the national grid. This leads to a motivation to invest in grid-connected solar‑PV systems for personal consumption to reduce overall electricity costs.
To size the solar‑PV system according to the power demand of the company, its load profile had to be recorded. CREEC monitored the power consumption of the whole company for defined time periods.
Up to date, Uganda has legal feed‑in regulations, but because of unclear connection regulation no grid-tight solar PV system is operating. To overcome this challenge CREEC recommends personal consumption of all power generated, so that no electricity will be fed into the national grid.
Based on measured data and additional information gained in a power audit, the power consumption was analyzed and different solar‑PV sizing scenarios developed. For the dimensioning of the solar system the variation of solar radiation over time on site was considered, and the calculated resulting electrical output compared to the power consumption of the customer.
Due to the suitable load profile with peaks around midday, a solar PV system would allow a total energy coverage of about 40 %, which would mean a large cost saving potential for this company.