A GIS-AHP Approach for Evaluating Site Suitability for Solar Power Plant: A Case Study of Ewekoro LGA., Nigeria
Keywords:Solar Power Plant, Site Suitability, Analytical Hierarchy Process, Geographic Information System, Nigeria
To address Nigeria's electricity shortages and overreliance on traditional methods, solar power plants are being considered. However, selecting suitable sites for this purpose is critical and often poses a serious challenge considering a range of conflicting factors. In this study, the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) technique and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) were combined to determine suitable sites for a solar electric power plant in Ewekoro Local Government Area (LGA). The approach considered road networks, transmission lines, slope, and land use as the key criteria as well as nineteen subcriteria for the site suitability analysis. The criteria and sub-criteria importance were weighted using AHP and the weights were inputted into the weighted overlay tool in the ArcGIS 10.4 for analysis. The resulting sub-criteria weights of land use are 3.5%, 6.8%, 10.6%, 16%, and 63.1% for built-up areas, waterbody, wetlands, rocky areas, and vegetation respectively. Based on the analysis, a suitability map was generated that categorized the study area as best suitable, suitable, and not suitable. On the map, 15% of the area was best suitable, 17% was suitable, and 68% was not suitable for solar power plants. In conclusion, the site suitability analysis of Ewekoro LGA for solar power plants has been evaluated and this approach can be extended to other areas in Nigeria where solar energy integration is of high priority.
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