Sensitivity analysis of a photovoltaic solar plant in Chile

F. Bustos, A. Toledo, J. Contreras, A. Fuentes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


A total of 22 cities in Chile were analyzed focusing the development of a 30 MW Photovoltaic Solar Plant using RETScreen software. Results of the study indicate that Calama City presents interesting results, with a Capacity Factor of 34.0% and an Energy Production of 92523 MWh. However, with a discount rate of 12% and an evaluation of 30 years, a Net Present Value (NPV) of -67×106 USD and an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 7.0% were obtained due to the high investment cost. Applying a 40% incentive in Calama City, the NPV reaches 11×106 USD, with an IRR of 13.7%, thus obtaining positive financial results. Sensitivity analysis, without the incentive applied, considers the variation of ±30% for five parameters, indicating that the initial cost and the electricity export rate significantly influence the results of the project. A risk analysis was performed on these parameters indicating that an NPV. ≤. 0 and an IRR. ≥. 12% were reached for 94.0% and 7.0% of the projects, respectively considering the initial cost. Analyzing the electricity export rate, only 5.0% of the projects had positive results for NPV and only 4.0% of the projects meet the criteria established for the IRR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
JournalRenewable Energy
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • CO emissions
  • Dual-axis PV solar plant
  • Financial/economic analysis
  • RETScreen
  • Risk analysis
  • Solar radiation


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