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A novel integrated approach for ranking solar energy location planning: a case study

Ali Mostafaeipour (Institute of Research and Development, Duy Tan University, Da Nang, Vietnam; The Faculty of Civil Engineering, Duy Tan University, Da Nang, Vietnam and Department of Sustainable Energy, Faculty of Environmental Management, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla, Thailand)
Mojtaba Qolipour (Industrial Engineering Department, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran)
Mostafa Rezaei (Industrial Engineering Department, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran)
Mehdi Jahangiri (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Shahrekord Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahrekord, Iran)
Alireza Goli (Industrial Engineering Department, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran)
Ahmad Sedaghat (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Australian College of Kuwait, Mishref, Kuwait)

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology

ISSN: 1726-0531

Article publication date: 30 September 2020

Issue publication date: 7 June 2021




Every day, the sun provides by far more energy than the amount necessary to meet the whole world’s energy demand. Solar energy, unlike fossil fuels, does not suffer from depleting resource and also releases no greenhouse gas emissions when being used. Hence, using solar irradiance to produce electricity via photovoltaic (PV) systems has significant benefits which can lead to a sustainable and clean future. In this regard, the purpose of this study is first to assess the technical and economic viability of solar power generation sites in the capitals of the states of Canada. Then, a novel integrated technique is developed to prioritize all the alternatives.


In this study, ten provinces in Canada are evaluated for the construction of solar power plants. The new hybrid approach composed of data envelopment analysis (DEA), balanced scorecard (BSC) and game theory (GT) is implemented to rank the nominated locations from techno-economic-environmental efficiency aspects. The input data are obtained using HOMER software.


Applying the proposed hybrid approach, the order of high to low efficiency locations was found as Winnipeg, Victoria, Edmonton, Quebec, Halifax, St John’s, Ottawa, Regina, Charlottetown and Toronto. Construction of ten solar plants in the ten studied locations was assessed and it was ascertained that usage of solar energy in Winnipeg, Victoria and Edmonton would be economically and environmentally justified.


As to novelty, it should be clarified that the authors propose an effective hybrid method combining DEA, BSC and GT for prioritizing all available scenarios concerned with the construction of a solar power plant.



Mostafaeipour, A., Qolipour, M., Rezaei, M., Jahangiri, M., Goli, A. and Sedaghat, A. (2021), "A novel integrated approach for ranking solar energy location planning: a case study", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 698-720.



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