• Feasibility Study of Residential Grid-Connected Solar Photovoltaic Systems in the State of Indiana

      Al-Odeh, Mahmoud
      This study aims to measure the financial viability of installing and using a residential grid-connected PV system in the State of Indiana while predicting its performance in eighteen geographical locations within the state over the system’s expected lifetime. The null hypothesis of the study is that installing a PV system for a single family residence in the State of Indiana will not pay for itself within 25 years. Using a systematic approach consisting of six steps, data regarding the use of renewable energy in the State of Indiana was collected from the website of the US Department of Energy to perform feasibility analysis of the installation and use of a standard-sized residential PV system. The researcher was not able to reject the null hypothesis that installing a PV system for a single family residence in the State of Indiana will not pay for itself within 25 years. This study found that the standard PV system does not produce a positive project balance and does not pay for itself within 25 years (the life time of the system) assuming the average cost of a system. The government incentive programs are not enough to offset the cost of installing the system against the cost of the electricity that would not be purchased from the utility company. It can be concluded that the cost of solar PV is higher than the market valuation of the power it produces; thus, solar PV did not compete on the cost basis with the traditional competitive energy sources. Reducing the capital cost will make the standard PV system economically viable in Indiana. The study found that the capital cost for the system should be reduced by 15% - 56%.