GIS-AHP Multi-Decision-Criteria-Analysis for the Optimal Location of Solar Energy Plants at Indonesia

A reliable tool for site-suitability assessment of solar power plants capable to account for the sustainable development and protection of cultural and biodiversity conservation areas is proposed. We present a novel Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) based approach for the Multi-Decision Criteria Analysis (MDCA) of SSI satellite retrieved data and local information sources, within a GIS platform tailored to fit the needs of energy stakeholders at Indonesia, simultaneously ensuring the conservation of legally protected areas. This imposes significant challenges due to the wide diversification of cultural, natural, and ecological protected areas that need to be considered, in landmarks that demand high-resolution imaging of surface solar irradiance (SSI) within 4 degree of latitude in both south and north of the equator. To overcome these challenges, a GIS spatial weighted overlay analysis for criteria layers such as climatology, topography, electrical grid, and road infrastructure has been performed, it based on the technical and economic feasibility for solar plants deployment within three approximation schemes focused on their proximity to the existing (i) power network, (ii) road infrastructure, and (iii) community settlements. Here, we focused on the West Kalimantan Province of Borneo Island (WKP), it mainly due to its possibility of onshore inter-connectivity and energy share with Malaysia and Brunei, and the high national and international importance that brings forward the protection of the biodiversity of Borneo. It has been found that the optimal location of PV plants can be reduced to just 0.03% (46.60 km2) and 0.07% (108.58 km2) of WKP, in what we report as the best-suitable conditions out of the 33.05% exploitable area found after the exclusion of conservation areas. This corresponds to an estimated annual generation of 8.91-20.96 TWh/year for conventional PV farms, resulting in daily generation capacity of approximately 43.65 MW/km2, where about 8.4 km2 of PV deployment will be sufficient to meet the national energy targets.

GIS-based assessment of Technical and Economic Feasibility of Utility-Scale Solar PV Plants: Case Study in West Kalimantan Province

This paper presents a technical and economic feasibility assessment of utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) plants in the West Kalimantan Province of Borneo, which is essential for boosting the development of solar PV plants in Indonesia. The assessment was performed based on a previously developed geographical information systems (GIS) package that integrates satellite-derived data of solar irradiation with locally obtained data such as land usage, topography, road lines, and an electrical network. For the evaluation of the technical and economic feasibility, annual energy production and electrical cost were calculated using an analysis tool that was integrated into a GIS package. The results show that more than 93% of the exploitable land that covers the area of 49,859 km2 is available for the development of solar PV plants, with an annual energy production higher than 180 GWh/km2 and an electricity cost lower than 0.05 USD/kWh, indicating the attractiveness of utility-scale solar PV plant development in West Kalimantan Province. A further detailed assessment of optimal sites shows that the selected sites are technically and economically feasible for the development of utility-scale solar PV plants. The approaches and results of this research should be valuable for energy planners, developers, and policy makers to set the strategies for promoting the development of utility-scale solar PV plants in pro of the sustainable development of Indonesia.

SolarBoost Project report

SolarBoost Project report describes in detail about the working methodology and GIS mapping procedure employed in the SolarBoost research project. The chief objective of the SolarBoost is to exploit the solar energy potentials to boost the solar renewable energy share in the Indonesia energy mix. The suitability map was developed by applying the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) for the selected input criteria in West Kalimantan Province. SolarBoost web-enabled GIS packages are easy to explore, extract, and visualize the spatial solar data for even non-GIS users. The GIS package with data management tools would provide a reliable tool for policymaking, sites planning, and development of solar power plants, for government, communities, and industrial investors, that would accelerate massive development in solar power plants, which in turn would strengthen the energy security and development of Indonesia. A comprehensive project report and research methodology employed in the Solarboost are available to download from here.

SolarBoost Web-Map User Manual

SolarBoost WebGIS has designed with simpler, and convenient to visualize data and extract the information as easy as using a regular website. Non-GIS professionals who may not have familiar with GIS or complex spatial data can also utilize the SolarBoost WebGIS platform for data visualization and information extraction.

SolarBoost User Manual is available to download from here.