Solar-based renewable energy adoption is in its early stage in the power system of Nepal complying with its commitment to carbon neutrality. The government of Nepal has declared a goal of setting up solar power plants of at least 200 MW in Madhesh Province, but the selection of optimal sites will be the decisive factor in achieving this goal. Therefore, rigorous investigation is necessary for optimal site selection. A three-step framework combining the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and the Geographical Information System (GIS) has been adopted to identify the optimal location for solar power plant installation in Madhesh Province. The framework includes the creation of weighted individual raster images for the different criteria, images of restricted areas for solar installation, and a combination of all the rasters into a single raster using GIS-based software. The weights of the criteria and sub-criteria have been evaluated using the AHP model, which is an expert judgments-based model. The criteria considered were solar irradiance, annual mean temperature, distance from the road, distance from the substation, distance from the urban area, elevation, aspect, and land use. The results were graded from the least preferred area to the most highly suitable area. The most highly suitable areas were in the Saptari, Siraha, Dhanusa, and Mahottari districts, while the districts in the western region of the province had less suitable areas. Thus, the province’s eastern region is most suitable for installing solar power plants.
How to Cite
AHP, GIS, Renewable Energy, Solar Power Plant
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