Broadlands Financial Group, LLC

Solar Energy Feasibility Study

Reading, PA

ARM conducted a feasibility study to assess the viability of siting a grid-connected, commercial-scale photovoltaic (PV) energy installation for electricity generation at a site near Reading, Pennsylvania. The study included utilization of the ARM-licensed PV-Design Pro to evaluate the energy output of a variety of solar system configurations and technologies. The data was used to assess the size, cost, and energy production implications of developing this ground-mounted solar installation on a 66-acre undeveloped parcel. ARM considered three types of arrays: fixed-tilt PV, dual-axis tracking PV, and thin-film, ground-mounted PV. Based on the alignment of the parcel, topography, and south-facing exposure, preliminary layouts of the proposed fixed-tilt and dual-axis tracking PV arrays were generated.

Fixed-Tilt PV Array
The most efficient layout of the fixed tilt PV array was estimated to generate 3, 891, 914 kWh net power production annually.

Dual-Axis Tracking PV Array
The dual-axis tracking PV array design was estimated to generate approximately 3, 094, 169 kWh of electricity annually. Although a dual-axis tracking PV system will generate more power per kW of rated capacity, the individual dual-axis tracking sub-arrays must be spaced further apart to minimize the shading effects of the rotating sub-array. In addition, the dual-axis tracking systems are more expensive than fixed-tilt systems, and have higher operation and maintenance costs.

Ground-Mounted Thin-Film PV System
Since the majority of the subject parcel slopes to-ward the west, a ground-mounted thin-film PV system was not recommended for this site.