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PV Street Lighting being Implemented in Saudi Arabia

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  • PV Street Lighting being Implemented in Saudi Arabia

    This is an interesting development for the country since electricity is sold at an average price of 0.03 dollars/kWh. They apparently found this project would be profitable even at this price.

    http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia...ts-makkah-soon

    150,000 street light poles would save a large amount of fossil fuels in the long-run.

  • #2
    The entire article was blather wit a few exceptions such as [COLOR=#111111][FONT=Arial]“especially in remote areas.”

    They have 3 cent US power off the grid then this ptoject will only go ahead because the bidder has good connections that bypass normal logic - meaning family or bribes are making it go.[/FONT][/COLOR]
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    • #3
      Can you say [U][I]"Train Wreck!"[/I][/U]
      MSEE, PE

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      • #4
        I am pretty sure some PV technologies give you enough delivered energy at a low enough initial cost that these types of projects would still be profitable at 0.03 USD/kWh for electricity from the utility company. No shady stuff going on.

        Plus you gotta factor in the amount of spending saved by not having to extend the power grid to meet the usage of these street lights.

        I have looked at solar-assisted refrigeration in Saudi and the cycle I analyzed would have a payback period of 7 to 8 years. That is a reasonable time frame.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by womatar View Post
          I am pretty sure some PV technologies give you enough delivered energy at a low enough initial cost that these types of projects would still be profitable at 0.03 USD/kWh for electricity from the utility company. No shady stuff going on.

          Plus you gotta factor in the amount of spending saved by not having to extend the power grid to meet the usage of these street lights.

          I have looked at solar-assisted refrigeration in Saudi and the cycle I analyzed would have a payback period of 7 to 8 years. That is a reasonable time frame.
          I agree that small stand alone systems have a payback that is reasonable compared to the cost of putting in a utility connection that is far from the grid.

          While I did not read the entire article it looked liked the installation of these lights were in an area that had readily available power. Making a grid tie connection in that area would seem less expensive than installing a solar power generated device.

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          • #6
            This is just another way for an influential official to get their share of the oil money.

            1. He will propose a project.
            2. He submits a bid using his company under anothers name.
            3. He declares his company as the winner for the project.
            4. He executes the job using subcontractors as his company doesn't have the capacity to do the work.
            5. He approves hand-over, full payment and takes all the money even if the job is just beginning.
            6. He pays subcontractor a little at a time while he use the money elsewhere.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by womatar View Post
              I am pretty sure some PV technologies give you enough delivered energy at a low enough initial cost that these types of projects would still be profitable at 0.03 USD/kWh for electricity from the utility company. No shady stuff going on.
              Then you are seriously misinformed. Battery cost alone over the life of the light will cost about $1/Kwh. Let's see that is an increase of about 3300% more in energy cost.
              MSEE, PE

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sunking View Post
                Then you are seriously misinformed. Battery cost alone over the life of the light will cost about $1/Kwh. Let's see that is an increase of about 3300% more in energy cost.
                [FONT=Comic Sans MS]OK, so the cost of lighting the lights is $1/kWh, but the energy itself is still free, right?[/FONT]
                SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by inetdog View Post
                  [FONT=Comic Sans MS]OK, so the cost of lighting the lights is $1/kWh, but the energy itself is still free, right?[/FONT]
                  Yeah right, that is what advocates like to say while they lie when their lips are moving. Either that or just plain ignorant. Pick one that fits.
                  MSEE, PE

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by womatar View Post
                    I am pretty sure some PV technologies give you enough delivered energy at a low enough initial cost that these types of projects would still be profitable at 0.03 USD/kWh for electricity from the utility company. No shady stuff going on.
                    No way that could ever happen. $.03/kWh in the USA would be fantastic and drive a lot of new business processes. Factories would thrive and outsourcing and China-sourcing of product would diminish. It would be a Godsend. Dogs and cats would be living together.

                    In California, some businesses pay .30/kWh when they are really heavy users of power. Residences in some areas of Hawaii pay .35+/kWh. In some areas of the north-eastern states, .13-.18/kWh is common but has been slowly going lower lately.

                    PV would be a laughing-stock product if power were .03/kWh in the USA. We would heat all homes with electricity and stop using LPG and NG for heating.
                    PowerOne 3.6 x 2, 32 SolarWorld 255W mono

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                    • #11
                      Please consider that while the direct savings are 0.03 USD/kWh, there is a great social benefit that supercedes this value (and we're talking about a government-funded project here). Crude oil and gas, which are both used for power generation, are sold at 3.7 USD/barrel and 0.75 USD/MMBTU to utilities, respectively. The opportunity cost from having the ability to either sell that fuel on the market, use it for other industries to add greater value, or conserve it for future generations is large. I mean you have a 100-dollar-difference between market and domestic price for crude.

                      Also, these light poles are likely being designed for decades.... 30 to 40 years? It is possible for them to recover initial investment costs within 40 years, no?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by womatar View Post

                        Also, these light poles are likely being designed for decades.... 30 to 40 years? It is possible for them to recover initial investment costs within 40 years, no?

                        With a grid-tie installation, yes. Much earlier than 40 years. If you use stand alone lighting poles with batteries, not possible at the current battery technology and price.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by womatar View Post
                          Also, these light poles are likely being designed for decades.... 30 to 40 years? It is possible for them to recover initial investment costs within 40 years, no?
                          Not even remotely possible. Battery replacement cost alone at this point in time cost $0.60 to $1.00 per Kwh. Right now they pay the POCO 3-cents per Kwh.

                          Nor can you make the argument that rising electric prices will over take battery cost. In th e100+ year of electric history, electric rates rise far less then inflation, so 40 years from now batteries will be significantly higher ratio. than the current ratio of 1:30. Who in their right mind wants to pay 30 times more?
                          MSEE, PE

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