Evaluation of Wind and Solar Energy Investments in Texas

Byungik Chang, University of New Haven
Ken Starcher, Alternative Energy Institute, Canyon, Tex.

This is the authors' accepted version of the article published in Renewable Energy. The version of record can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2018.09.037


The primary objective of the project is to evaluate the benefits of wind and solar energy and determine economical investment sites for wind and solar energy in Texas with economic parameters including payback periods. A 50 kW wind turbine system and a 42 kW PV system were used to collect field data. Data analysis enabled yearly energy production and payback period of the two systems.

The average payback period of a solar PV system was found to be within a range of 2-20 years because the large range of the payback period for PV systems were heavily influenced by incentives. This is in contrast to wind energy, where the most important factor was found to be wind resources of a region. Payback period for the installed wind system in Texas with federal tax credits was determined to be approximately 13 years.