CEB132 - Solar PV Project Development Course

The Solar PV Project Development certificate course is designed to help developers and investors acquire knowledge and understand best practices in the development, construction, operation and financing of utility scale solar projects.

The training material for the course includes multimedia presentations on Solar PV technologies,  solar energy project analysis software and worksheets, as well as various other related resources.

Course Duration: 4 weeks (total of 40 notional hours)

Course focus and approach:

  • While the course focused on utility-scale, grid-connected solar projects, much of the technical content is equally relevant to off-grid solar applications and is likely to be helpful to participants keen to deepen their understanding of this exciting sector.
  • To illustrate various aspects of project development, construction and operation, a number of case studies and assignments on multi-megawatt projects are included.  The following summarizes the various aspects in the process of development, operation and financing of utility scale solar power plants. Each topic is covered in detail in this course.

What you will learn:

  • Understanding the PV technologies available today in order to be able to select the best technology for a project given the site characteristics, understanding the various components, main mounting and design options. How to determine seasonal performance ratios, capacity factors and specific production yields.
  • How to evaluate the resource at a site using various data sources, how to interpret that data and predict variations.
  • Understanding the various phases of development and what are all the components that need to be included in the feasibility study and development plan
  • How to select a solar project site based on at least a dozen factors.
  • How to predict the average annual energy output of a plant through its life cycle using various databases and tools, and best practices in terms of sensitivity to predict with a probability of confidence.
  • How to design a PV Plant to achieve the lowest levelized cost of energy: optimum equipment selection, row spacing, module positioning, cable  layout, maintenance considerations, AC and DC considerations, data monitoring and forecasting, access roads and security systems...
  • What are the various permits, licenses and contracts typically required and what are the various authorities one needs to contact or consult when developing a PV project
  • How to deal with the various issues that typically arise during the construction of a PV project: problems with foundations, related to excavation, module setup improperly, cable issues, connection delays, weather delays, site access..
  • What are the main criteria commissioning should prove and the milestones for the key commissioning tests.
  • How to manage Operations and Maintenance (O&M); what are the two major types of O&M procedures, the typical elements of each type of maintenance, selecting O&M contractors, contracts and performamnce issues
  • Understand the possible economic and financial benefits of a PV project in order to make the business case to investors and to governments/local communities. In this part of the courses, you will learn how to extract the key financial end economic data from a project.
  • How to structure a PV project in order to obtain financial closure: does the project pass the test of legal, insurance and technical due diligence, how much equity is required, strategies for financing.

Other skills

By the end of the course, successful participants will have acquired the essential skills and knowledge to develop a solar PV project . Specifically, successful participants will have learned:

  • The technologies of solar PV Plants , the various types of solar PV Plants, the equipment and processes involved, in what context they are most interesting and appropriate
  • How to identify economically viable potential solar PV Plants
  • How to establish a full-scale project development plan for solar PV Plants
  • How to use various tools to evaluate the quantitative technical and economic factors of solar PV Plants
  • The complete method to calculate the payback, return on investment, and other financial ratios for solar PV Plants
  • Essential business, technical and project management skills

Course facilitation

  • The learning is guided by one or more facilitators available to participants via weekly conference calls, discussion forums and more

Knowledge verification

  • For each week's material, participants are presented with online exams and assignment tasks.
  • A certificate of completion is granted to people who obtain a 70% average for the course