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Solar Energy Assignment: Installation Of Solar Power Plant

Question

Task: Prepare a solar energy assignment discussing about the project plan to expand the use of solar power in rural areas.

Answer

Executive Summary
This project explored in the solar energy assignment has been approved by the Australian government as a part of its plan to expand the use of solar power throughout the country. This is the first project of this plan and will focus on installation of a solar power plant in a rural district. Once this project is successful, further projects will be undertaken through various rural districts of the country. In this project, a solar farm will be set up in the chosen rural district and the power generated in the farm will be distributed to all the residential and commercial buildings in the district. The project will take approximately a year for completion and will cost around $100,000. Once the project plan developed in this solar energy assignment is approved, the team will go ahead with the project.

Reasons for Doing the Project
This project examined in the segments of solar energy assignment is a part of the plan for increasing the utilization of solar energy throughout the country. However, the rural districts will be the first to receive this energy as supplying energy gathered from other sources is extremely expensive. Often, the rural people cannot afford to buy electricity that is supplied from the power plants where they are generated. The installation of solar farm will significantly reduce the costs of the supplying and distribution of electricity (Biswas, Suganthan and Amaratunga 2017). Moreover, the rural districts will be self-sufficient in electricity generation and supply and will not have to rely on power supplied by far away power stations. The costs of the power will be cheap and all the residents will be able to afford it for their homes or the commercial buildings. If this project is successful, the government will precede further to implement the same to all the other rural districts in the country phase by phase. Another major reason identified in the solar energy assignment for conducting this project is to reduce consumption of non-renewable sources of energy like fuel and utilize natural and renewable sources of energy like solar energy. The cost of generation of electrical energy from solar energy is extremely low and also does not harm the environment and ecosystem in any way.

Objectives
The project is driven by the objectives discussed below within the solar energy assignment.

  • To develop and install a solar farm in the chosen rural district
  • To reduce costs on transmission and distribution of electrical power in the district
  • To make electricity much more affordable for the residents of the rural districts
  • To reduce the use of non-renewable energy sources and utilize renewable and eco-friendly energy sources

Quantitative Analysis
The weighted scoring model for the project is presented in the next section of solar energy assignment.

Weightage

Solar Power

Electric Power

0.4 = Benefits

5

7

0.3 = Cost

8

2

0.3 = Scope

4

7

TOTAL

5.6

5.5

As per this weightage scoring model, solar power can be preferred for the rural areas as proposed in this project.
The NPV, ROI and Payback periods are shown in the following table given in this solar energy assignment.

Discount rate

12.00%

         
             

Assume the project is completed in Year 0

   

Year

     
 

0

1

2

3

Total

 

Costs

1,00,000

10,000

15,000

15,000

   

Discount factor

1.00

0.89

0.80

0.71

   

Discounted costs

     1,00,000

      8,900

    12,000

    10,650

 1,31,550

 
             

Benefits

0

50,000

60,000

65,000

   

Discount factor

1.00

0.89

0.80

0.71

   

Discounted benefits

0

    44,500

    48,000

    46,150

 1,38,650

 
             

Discounted benefits - costs

    (1,00,000)

    35,600

    36,000

    35,500

     7,100

NPV

Cumulative benefits - costs

    (1,00,000)

 

   (64,400)

   (28,400)

      7,100

   
             

ROI

5%

         
 

Payback in Year 3

     

Business Options
It is stated in the solar energy assignment that this project basically focuses on supplying cheap and environment friendly electricity to the rural residents and commercial entities. Hence, this project is less of a business project and more of a community project. However, the government can still earn profits from the farm as the residents will have to pay for the electricity supplied to them (Steinand Buck 2017). In addition to the recovery of the investment made for the development of the farm, the profit of the government will be calculated from the earnings after deduction of maintenance costs of the farm and the wages for the employees / workers managing the solar farm.

What are the project requirements noted in the solar energy assignment?
This project discussed herein solar energy assignment mainly requires installation of a solar farm in the chosen rural district. In addition to setting up the farm, there will be distribution lines installed that will distribute the generated electrical power to all the residential and commercial buildings. In the farm, ten large solar cells will be set up that will capture solar power (Mehoset al. 2017). This captured power will be converted into electrical energy in the station and will be distributed to the residents through the newly installed distribution lines.
The assumptions that have been made while developing this project plan are as follows.

It has been assumed that the estimated time period of 1 year is sufficient for the project. Assumption has been made that a $100,000 budget is sufficient for the project. A critical assumption is made that 10 solar cells is sufficient to supply enough energy for all the residential and commercial buildings in the chosen rural district. Assumption has been made that once the project is completed, it will pave the way for similar projects in other rural districts of the country.

The study prepared in thesolar energy assignment mentions some constraints related to the project in the following part:

  • While the solar farm will be able to supply sufficient energy, there needs to be a backup plan during cloudy and rainy weathers when there is not sufficient sunlight available.
  • While the power output of the solar panels / cells are estimated, the actual efficiency of these devices is still unknown i.e. even if these cells are estimated to work at 80% efficiency, the true efficiency might dip to even 50%.
  • Budget can be considered as a constraint as all the activities in the project might cost significantly more than the estimated amount.

Costs
In the solar energy assignment, the cost breakdown for the project is shown in the following table along with the resources allocated (Meredith, Shaferand Mantel Jr 2017).

WBS

Task Name

Resource Names

Cost

0

Solar Farm Construction and Installation

 

$98,360.00

1

   Project Initiation

 

$7,680.00

1.1

      Discussion regarding project

Managing Director

$640.00

1.2

      Selection of rural district for the project

Managing Director

$960.00

1.3

      Conduct meeting with government entities

Managing Director

$1,280.00

1.4

      Conduct meeting with rural council regarding the project

Managing Director

$960.00

1.5

      Conduct meeting with engineers

Managing Director

$960.00

1.6

      Create project proposal

Managing Director

$1,600.00

1.7

      Review the project proposal

Managing Director

$1,280.00

1.8

      Milestone: Approve the project and request for planning

 

$0.00

2

   Project Planning

 

$5,000.00

2.1

      Form the project management team

Director's Associate

$400.00

2.2

      Review the project requirements

Director's Associate

$600.00

2.3

      Review time and budget limits

Director's Associate

$400.00

2.4

      Development of project scope

Director's Associate

$400.00

2.5

      Create limitations of the project

Director's Associate

$600.00

2.6

      Develop timeline for the project

Director's Associate

$400.00

2.7

      Develop budget allocation plan for the project

Director's Associate

$400.00

2.8

      Hire contractor through tender procedures

Director's Associate

$600.00

2.9

      Discuss the project with the contractor

Director's Associate

$600.00

2.10

      Allocate the budget for the project

Director's Associate

$600.00

2.11

      Milestone: Planning complete and project approved

 

$0.00

3

   Project Execution

 

$83,120.00

3.1

      Place order to manufacturers for supply of materials and solar cells

Contractor, Fixed Costs[1]

$50,320.00

3.2

      Prepare the property for solar farm installation

Workers

$2,400.00

3.3

      Receive delivery of the materials

Contractor

$800.00

3.4

      Installation of farm foundations

Workers

$2,400.00

3.5

      Installation of transformers

Workers

$4,800.00

3.6

      Installation of distribution lines

Workers

$6,400.00

3.7

      Installation of the solar cells

Workers

$8,000.00

3.8

      Connecting the solar cells with the distribution lines and transformer

Workers

$4,800.00

3.9

      Set up substation office

Workers

$2,400.00

3.10

      Review the entire project

Engineers

$800.00

4

   Milestone: Project execution complete

 

$0.00

5

   Project Closing

 

$2,560.00

5.1

      Submission of project report document

Contractor

$320.00

5.2

      Final review and appraisal of the project

Managing Director

$1,600.00

5.3

      Finishing up payments

Managing Director

$320.00

5.4

      Sign off from stakeholders

Managing Director

$320.00

5.5

      Milestone: Official Closing

 

$0.00

 

Major Risks
The major risks with the project are listed in the next segment of solar energy assignment.

Risk

Likelihood

Severity

Management Plan

The first major risk with the project identified in the solar energy assignment is the uncertainty regarding efficiency of the solar cells.

High

Medium

Proper testing over a long period of time is required to ensure the solar cells are generating power at the estimated rate of efficiency and not less.

Another major risk related to the project is the weather dependent power generation of the cells.

High

High

Backup power supply must be installed especially for cloudy and rainy seasons.

Workers may get injured while working on installation of the solar cells.

Medium

High

Proper protective equipments and gears must be provided to the workers.

Budget is a major risk as installation costs for solar farms are generally extremely high.

High

High

Budget flexibility is necessary for this particular project.

Another risk mentioned in the solar energy assignmentis the lack of knowledge among workers regarding handling of solar farms may affect proper maintenance of the farm.

Low

Medium

Workers should be trained before assigning them to the power station.

Timescale
The total timescale of the project is shown in the following table including milestones.The milestones highlighted in the table given in the solar energy assignment marks the ending point of one phase and starting of the next phase (Kerzner 2019).

WBS

Task Name

Duration

Start

Finish

0

Solar Farm Construction and Installation

265 days

Mon 01-02-21

Fri 04-02-22

1

   Project Initiation

24 days

Mon 01-02-21

Thu 04-03-21

1.1

      Discussion regarding project

2 days

Mon 01-02-21

Tue 02-02-21

1.2

      Selection of rural district for the project

3 days

Wed 03-02-21

Fri 05-02-21

1.3

      Conduct meeting with government entities

4 days

Mon 08-02-21

Thu 11-02-21

1.4

      Conduct meeting with rural council regarding the project

3 days

Fri 12-02-21

Tue 16-02-21

1.5

      Conduct meeting with engineers

3 days

Wed 17-02-21

Fri 19-02-21

1.6

      Create project proposal

5 days

Mon 22-02-21

Fri 26-02-21

1.7

      Review the project proposal

4 days

Mon 01-03-21

Thu 04-03-21

1.8

      Milestone: Approve the project and request for planning

0 days

Thu 04-03-21

Thu 04-03-21

2

   Project Planning

25 days

Fri 05-03-21

Thu 08-04-21

2.1

      Form the project management team

2 days

Fri 05-03-21

Mon 08-03-21

2.2

      Review the project requirements

3 days

Tue 09-03-21

Thu 11-03-21

2.3

      Review time and budget limits

2 days

Fri 12-03-21

Mon 15-03-21

2.4

      Development of project scope

2 days

Tue 16-03-21

Wed 17-03-21

2.5

      Create limitations of the project

3 days

Thu 18-03-21

Mon 22-03-21

2.6

      Develop timeline for the project

2 days

Tue 23-03-21

Wed 24-03-21

2.7

      Develop budget allocation plan for the project

2 days

Thu 25-03-21

Fri 26-03-21

2.8

      Hire contractor through tender procedures

3 days

Mon 29-03-21

Wed 31-03-21

2.9

      Discuss the project with the contractor

3 days

Thu 01-04-21

Mon 05-04-21

2.10

      Allocate the budget for the project

3 days

Tue 06-04-21

Thu 08-04-21

2.11

      Milestone: Planning complete and project approved

0 days

Thu 08-04-21

Thu 08-04-21

3

   Project Execution

207 days

Fri 09-04-21

Mon 24-01-22

3.1

      Place order to manufacturers for supply of materials and solar cells

2 days

Fri 09-04-21

Mon 12-04-21

3.2

      Prepare the property for solar farm installation

15 days

Tue 13-04-21

Mon 03-05-21

3.3

      Receive delivery of the materials

5 days

Tue 04-05-21

Mon 10-05-21

3.4

      Installation of farm foundations

15 days

Tue 11-05-21

Mon 31-05-21

3.5

      Installation of transformers

30 days

Tue 01-06-21

Mon 12-07-21

3.6

      Installation of distribution lines

40 days

Tue 13-07-21

Mon 06-09-21

3.7

      Installation of the solar cells

50 days

Tue 07-09-21

Mon 15-11-21

3.8

      Connecting the solar cells with the distribution lines and transformer

30 days

Tue 16-11-21

Mon 27-12-21

3.9

      Set up substation office

15 days

Tue 28-12-21

Mon 17-01-22

3.10

      Review the entire project

5 days

Tue 18-01-22

Mon 24-01-22

4

   Milestone: Project execution complete

0 days

Mon 24-01-22

Mon 24-01-22

5

   Project Closing

9 days

Tue 25-01-22

Fri 04-02-22

5.1

      Submission of project report document

2 days

Tue 25-01-22

Wed 26-01-22

5.2

      Final review and appraisal of the project

5 days

Thu 27-01-22

Wed 02-02-22

5.3

      Finishing up payments

1 day

Thu 03-02-22

Thu 03-02-22

5.4

      Sign off from stakeholders

1 day

Fri 04-02-22

Fri 04-02-22

5.5

      Milestone: Official Closing

0 days

Fri 04-02-22

Fri 04-02-22

Conclusion
The above discussion on solar energy assignment concludes that this project will focus on installation of a solar power plant in a rural district.It can be assumed from the overall analysis done in this solar energy assignment that once this project is successful, further projects will be undertaken through various rural districts of the country. This project examined in this solar energy assignmentwill include installation of ten solar cells in the chosen site for the solar farm. In addition to setting up the farm, there will be distribution lines installed that will distribute the generated electrical power to all the residential and commercial buildings. All residents including commercial entities will be able to receive this power at much lesser costs.

References
Biswas, P.P., Suganthan, P.N. and Amaratunga, G.A., 2017. Optimal power flow solutions incorporating stochastic wind and solar power. Energy Conversion and Management, 148, pp.1194-1207.

Kerzner, H., 2019. Using the project management maturity model: strategic planning for project management.John Wiley & Sons.

Mehos, M., Turchi, C., Vidal, J., Wagner, M., Ma, Z., Ho, C., Kolb, W., Andraka, C. and Kruizenga, A., 2017. Solar energy assignmentConcentrating solar power Gen3 demonstration roadmap (No. NREL/TP-5500-67464).

National Renewable Energy Lab.(NREL), Golden, CO (United States).

Meredith, J.R., Shafer, S.M. and Mantel Jr, S.J., 2017. Project Management: A Strategic Managerial Approach. John Wiley & Sons.

Stein, W.H. and Buck, R., 2017. Advanced power cycles for concentrated solar power. Solar Energy, 152, pp.91-105.

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