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New software to identify solar-suitable surfaces

Norway’s Glint Solar has developed cloud-based software that finds suitable surfaces for solar parks. It analyzes factors such as the distance to the grid or substations, topography, soil depth, and solar radiation. The tool can also be used for preliminary project sizing.

Norwegian startup Glint Solar has developed software to screen and detect potential sites for the deployment of ground-mounted solar parks.

“Our new software ensures better early-phase project insight,” COO Even Kvelland told pv magazine. “It allows developers to identify specific sites such as, for example, industrial land or pasture, while enabling preliminary capex and [levelized cost of electricity] estimations and technical analysis.”

The software analyzes factors such distance to the grid or substations, topography, soil depth, and solar radiation. It considers terrain with a maximum slope of 12 degrees and can obtain topographical heatmaps, while defining whether an identified surface is cropland, wetland, forest, or a protected area.

In addition, it helps with project sizing. “The user can also draw and see the potential size in MW while drawing,” Kvelland said. “When a developer finds a suitable site, it should use the tool to test various analyses of different systems, then it should contact the owner of the land. In some regions, we do have the name and contact details of the landowners to make this process faster.”

The cloud-based software-as-a-service solution is automatically updated with new features and new data, said  the company.

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“The tool typically looks at lots of different data per site and is able to perform quick energy and economic analysis of different technologies on the site,” Kvelland said. “It is also able to detect existing PV plants as well as other energy plants like wind, coal, and hydropower.”

The software system uses Amazon Web Services for heavy calculations and to store large amounts of data.

“We have created our own energy production analysis in cooperation with Norway’s Institute for Energy (IFE) based on a variety of satellite data and databases around the world,” Kvelland said. “The software works globally, but it varies what kind of data we have for different countries. Most of our features work globally, while for some data layers the system works country by country.”

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Source: pv magazine