Map Book Gallery Volume 23
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Siting a Solar Power Project

URS Corporation

Sustainable Development and Human Affairs
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Environmental Constraints Solar Intensity
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Land Use/Ownership Solar Applications and Solar Intensity
Contact
Camille Lill
Software
ArcGIS Desktop 9.2
Printer
HP Designjet 1055
Data Sources
NREL, ESRI, Powermap, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, California Natural Diversity Database, Navajo Natural Heritage Program, National Data Warehouse
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To site a solar power project for potential clients, it is important to determine areas that will yield high energy generation and return the most profits. Several steps were taken to achieve this. Environmental and land use constraint layers were used to eliminate unsuitable areas and focus on more desirable ones. Developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a solar intensity layer (related to the amount of energy that can be generated) is used to determine if the project can be profitable. A spatial query of datasets can quickly show how a client’s preferences or criteria will affect the amount of available land for the project. Using the results from the analyses, further project actions include creating detailed large-scale maps of focus areas and providing this information to a real estate specialist who can start finding available land for the plant.

Courtesy of Camille Lill.

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