Name: Maziar Karimi
Title: Identification of Suitable Location for Off-Grid Solar Plant in Farah Province of Afghanistan
The rapid population growth and current human behavior towards modernization and mechanization have irreparable effects on environment and natural resources. Moreover, not only shortage of natural resources for next generations is concern point but effects of fossil fuels on current state of earth is not negligible, specifically in term of climate changes, air pollution and global warming. Environment friendly solution for ride of this problem is using renewable energy source like wind energy, solar energy and water energy. Solar energy as a valuable renewable energy source would be an ideal option for communities dealing with electricity shortage particularly when they have immense amount of solar resources. Afghanistan as a country with more than 300 sunny days per year and up
to 6.2 kWh/m2 has a dominant condition to get from benefit of this unlimited source of energy. In this study, Farah province that is a western province of Afghanistan selected as a study
area. Investments on electrification of big provinces of Afghanistan as well as high rate of non-electrified communities even in Kabul as capital of this country caused Farah province still have not electricity access completely. However, clarified electricity state of Afghanistan made this province best candidate as a study area for current research. GIS employed to identify suitable area for planting solar farm in this province by considering
different factors while most suitable area in not necessity where the most amount of solar energy is existed. Considered factors are, slope and aspect in term of environment factor, photovoltaic output PVOUT that is amount of sun energy converted to the electricity as topology factor and distance to river and distance to residential area as location factor. Map of suitability found with regards of same level of influence for each factor and divides the entire province into the five class of suitability; Most suitable, high suitable, moderate suitable, low suitable and low suitable. Finally, as most suitable area had distributed state throughout the entire province with significant amount of area for each part of Farah, it was used as supply point in rest of research. Farah electrification using solar resource investigated under two different scenarios with respect to economic aspects. One scenario suggested large-scale solar power to limited
number of communities with definite number of population while second scenario proposed to electrify entire the province using one and two power supply center. Finally, it was conducted, electrification of entire Farah province using two power generation station is economical solution in term of transmission and substations cost. Estimated expenses for 279,651-meter transmission and two step-up substation and three step-down substations should be mobilized.