, 44:207 | Cite as

Feasibility study of installation of MW level grid connected solar photovoltaic power plant for northeastern region of India

  • Pankaj KalitaEmail author
  • Samar Das
  • Dudul Das
  • Pallab Borgohain
  • Anupam DewanEmail author
  • Rabindra Kangsha Banik


Solar energy is one of the most suitable renewable energy options in India. In the last decade, solar energy installations have received an ample impetus in India due to active initiatives taken by the Indian government. However, the solar energy potential of country’s North-Eastern (NE) part is not utilized effectively so far. In the present study, a comprehensive analysis of the feasibility of installation of a megawatt-level grid-connected solar photovoltaic (SPV) power plant in all the state capitals of NE India is carried out. The climatic data collected from various online sources and NASA climatic database were utilized in designing a 2 MW SPV plant. The theoretical procedure involved in designing the SPV plant is also presented in this study. PVsyst simulation software is used to predict the performance of 2 MW power plants for these eight states of India. From the analysis, it is observed that NE India has an immense potential for installation of solar energy conversion devices and thus it can be harvested economically. It has been observed that locations of Guwahati and Gangtok provide a high performance ratio of 0.855. Aizawl provides the minimum unit cost of electricity generated at a value of 3.88 INR/unit. The analysis also reveals that the Aizawl and Guwahati are the most suitable locations for installation of SPV power plant amongst the NE capitals.


North-east India PV power plant PVsyst simulation life cycle assessment economic analysis CO2 mitigation 

List of symbols

\( A_{ACcable} \)

Cross-sectional area of AC cable (mm2)

\( A_{DCcable} \)

Cross-sectional area of DC cable (mm2)

\( C_{AU} \)

Annualized uniform cost (INR)

\( \left( {CO_{2} } \right)_{e} \)

CO2 emission from the embodied energy (tonnes of CO2)

\( C_{cap} \)

The capital cost of PV plant (INR)

\( C_{e} \)

Cost for electrical connection (INR)

\( C_{e\& c} \)

Erection and commissioning cost (INR)

\( \left( {CO_{2} } \right)_{m} \)

CO2 mitigation for the PV power plant (tonnes of CO2/year)

\( \left( {CO_{2} } \right)_{net} \)

Net CO2 mitigation for the PV power plant (tonnes of CO2)

\( \cos \varphi \)

The power factor

\( C_{m} \)

Module cost (INR)

\( C_{mis} \)

Miscellaneous cost (INR)

\( C_{ms} \)

Cost of mounting and structures (INR)

\( \left( {C_{\text{in}} } \right)_{t} \)

Total inflow of money (INR)

\( C_{inv} \)

Inverter cost, Indian Rupee (INR)

\( C_{l} \)

Land cost (INR)

\( \left( {C_{out} } \right)_{t} \)

Total outflow of money (INR)

\( \left( {C_{o\& m} } \right)_{a} \)

The annual operation and maintenance cost (INR)

\( \left( {C_{o\& m} } \right)_{NPV} \)

The net present value of operation and maintenance of the plant

\( D \)

Distance between the two rows (m)

\( d \)

Discount rate (%)

\( E_{embodied} \)

Total Embodied energy of the plant (kWh/m2)

\( E_{generated} \)

Annual electricity generated by the plant (kWh/m2)

\( E_{installation} \)

Total energy associated with installation of the PV system (kWh/m2)

\( E_{material} \)

Total material production energy for PV system (kWh/m2)

\( E_{manufacturing} \)

Total manufacturing energy for PV system (kWh/m2)

\( E_{o\& p} \)

Total operation and maintenance energy of PV module over the lifetime (kWh/m2)

\( E_{peak} \)

Peak capacity of the plant (kWp)

\( E_{solar} \)

Annual electricity generated by the plant (MWh/year)

\( E_{transport} \)

Total energy used for transportation of materials (kWh/m2)

\( G \)

Incident solar radiation (W/m2)

\( g \)

Inflation rate (%)

\( h \)

Height of the solar module (m)

\( I_{AC} \)

The current flowing in the cable (A)

\( I_{DC} \)

The current flowing in the cable (A)

\( I_{Inv - DC} \)

Maximum DC current of inverter (A)

\( I_{SC - Eff} \)

Effective short-circuit current (A)

\( I_{SC - STC} \)

Short-circuit current at STC (A)

\( L \)

Length of the solar module (m)

\( L_{ACcable} \)

The route length of AC cable (m)

\( L_{DCcable} \)

The route length of DC cable (m)

\( L_{plant} \)

Life time of the system (years)

\( L_{SH} \)

Shadow length (m)

\( N_{Inv} \)

Number of inverters

\( P_{TC} \)

Temperature corrected power output (W)

\( P_{STC} \)

Power output at STC (W)

\( T_{amb} \)

Ambient temperature of the location (°C)

\( SV \)

The salvage value (INR)

\( T_{op} \)

Operating temperature of the module (°C)

\( T_{e} \)

Electricity tariff (INR/kWh)

\( T_{STC} \)

Standard test temperature (°C)

\( V_{AC} \)

The voltage of the grid (V)

\( V_{Max - Eff} \)

Maximum effective voltage of the module (V)

\( V_{Min - Eff} \)

Minimum effective voltage of the module (V)

\( V_{MP} \)

The maximum power point voltage of the string/array (V)

\( V_{MP - STC} \)

Maximum power voltage at STC (V)

\( V_{OC - STC} \)

Open circuit Voltage at STC (V)

\( \left( {S_{AEG} } \right)_{NPV} \)

The present value annual savings from generated electricity of the plant (INR)

\( \left( {S_{SV} } \right)_{NPV} \)

The present value of saving from salvage value (INR)

\( \alpha \)

Sun elevation angle

\( \varphi \)

Latitude angle for solar PV site

\( \psi \)

Sun azimuth angle

\( \delta \)

Solar declination angle

\( \omega \)

Hour angle

\( \theta \)

Solar module tilt angle

\( \rho \)

Resistivity of the wire (Ω/mm/mm2)

\( \gamma_{{I_{sc} }} \)

Short-circuit temperature coefficient (%/°C)

\( \gamma_{p} \)

Maximum power temperature coefficient (%/°C)

\( \gamma_{{V_{oc} }} \)

Open circuit voltage temperature coefficient (%/°C)



This work is a part of Start-up project (Grant Number: CEE/SG/IITG/PK1134/001) awarded to Dr. Pankaj Kalita, Assistant Professor, Centre for Energy, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Assam, India. The financial support extended by Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for EnergyIndian Institute of Technology GuwahatiGuwahatiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Electrical EngineeringNational Institute of Technology SilcharSilcharIndia
  3. 3.Department of Applied MechanicsIndian Institute of Technology DelhiHauz Khas, New DelhiIndia

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