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Can Albedo Enhancing Materials Increase Project Returns for Bifacial Utility Scale Solar Plants?

Rich Clark
January 29, 2021
Customers, Energy Brokers, Retail Energy Providers, Uncategorized, Utilities

By Rich Clark and Joshua Eudave

PV module production is increasingly changing from mono-facial to bifacial panels as the production gains and resulting project returns from bifacial panels are being validated within the industry. Many sources are projecting that bifacial production will overtake mono-facial within the next three to five years.

In order to maximize production returns, we at 7X Energy are starting to change our panel selection exclusively to bifacial. Due to this shift, we are evaluating the largest contributor of bifacial gain, the albedo or reflectivity of the ground surface.

In this evaluation, we tried to figure out how we could artificially increase gain for our project sites. The engineering team at 7X Energy performed research on commercially available ground material that would increase the ground albedo of its bifacial PV solar plants currently in construction. In addition, the team performed an economic analysis on a selected white ground cover and modeled the resultant production boost using PVsyst to take advantage of productions gains from using bifacial solar panels mounted on single axis trackers.

In the PV Magazine article, we share the results of the financial modeling analysis of two 7X Energy projects (the 200 MW Taygete II and the 130 MW Elara facilities) and offer some insights about the project feasibility economic modeling exercise.

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