Multi-Criteria Analysis for Solar Farm Location Suitability

Open access


Currently the number of solar farms, as a type of renewable sources of energy, is growing rapidly. Photovoltaic power stations have many advantages, which is an incentive for their building and development. Solar energy is readily available and inexhaustible, and its production is environmentally friendly. In the present study multiple environmental and economic criteria were taken into account to select a potential photovoltaic farm location, with particular emphasis on: protected areas, land cover, solar radiation, slope angle, proximity to roads, built-up areas, and power lines. Advanced data analysis were used because of the multiplicity of criteria and their diverse influence on the choice of a potential location. They included the spatial analysis, the Weighted Linear Combination Technique (WLC), and the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) as a decisionmaking method. The analysis was divided into two stages. In the first one, the areas where the location of solar farms was not possible were excluded. In the second one, the best locations meeting all environmental and economic criteria were selected. The research was conducted for the Legionowo District, using data from national surveying and mapping resources such as: BDOT10k (Database of Topographic Objects), NMT (Numerical Terrain Model), and lands and buildings register. Finally, several areas meeting the criteria were chosen. The research deals with solar farms with up to 40 kW power. The results of the study are presented as thematic maps. The advantage of the method is its versatility. It can be used not only for any area, but with little modification of the criteria, it can also be applied to choose a location for wind farms.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Asakereh A. Omid M. Alimardani R. & Sarmadian F. (2014). Developing a GISbased Fuzzy AHP Model for Selecting Solar Energy Sites in Shodirwan Region in Iran. International Journal of Advanced Science and Technology vol. 68.

  • Bielecka E. (2015). Geographical data sets fitness of use evaluation. Geodetski Vestnik Vol. 59 (2015) No. 2 335-348. DOI: 10.15292/geodetskivestnik. 2015.02.335-348.

  • Bober A. Calka B. & Bielecka E. (2016). Application of state survey and mapping resources for selecting sites suitable for solar farms. Proceedings of the 16th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConferences SGEM ISBN 978-619- 7105-58-2 / ISSN 1314-2704 June 28 - July 6 2016 Book2 Vol. 1 593-600 pp. DOI: 10.5593/SGEM2016/B21/S08.074.

  • Brzezinska-Klusek M. Moscicka A. & Debowska A. (2013). OGNIWO - Tool for Integration Different Spatial Data Resources. 13th SGEM GeoConference on Informatics Geoinformatics And Remote Sensing SGEM2013 Conference Proceedings ISBN 978-954-91818-9-0 / ISSN 1314-2704 June 16-22 2013 Vol. 1 pp. 481-488. DOI:10.5593/SGEM2013/BB2.V1/S08.024.

  • Calka B. Bielecka E. & Zdunkiewicz K. (2016). Redistribution population data across a regular spatial grid according to buildings characteristics. Geodesy and Cartography. Volume 65 Issue 2 Pages 149-162. DOI:

  • Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council 2009/28/EC of 23 April 2009.

  • Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council 2010/75/EU of 24 November 2010 on industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control).

  • Effat H. A. (2013). Selection of Potential Sites for Solar Energy Farms in Ismailia Governorate Egypt using SRTM and Multicriteria Analysis. International Journal of Advanced Remote Sensing and GIS Vol. 2.

  • Gąsiorowski J. & Bielecka E. (2014). Land fragmentation analysis using morphometric parameters. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference - Environmental Engineering eISBN 978-609-457-640-9 / eISSN 2029-7092DOI: 10.3846/enviro.2014.205.

  • Hejmanowska B. & Hnat E. (2009). Wielokryterialna analiza lokalizacji zabudowy na przykładzie gminy Podegrodzie (Multi-factoral evaluation of residential area locations: case study of Podegrodzie local authority). Archives of Photogrammetry Cartography and Remote Sensing Vol.20 pp.109-129.

  • Hott R. Santini R. & Brownson J. (2012). GIS-based Spatial Analysis For Large-Scale Solar Power And Transmission Line Issues: Case Study of Wyoming U.S. Proceedings of the 41st American Solar Energy Society Meeting.

  • Janke J. R. (2010). Multicriteria GIS modeling of wind and solar farms in Colorado. Renewable Energy 35 pp. 2228-2234.

  • Ławniczak R. & Kubiak J. (2016). Geometric accuracy of topographical objects at Polish topographic maps Geodesy and Cartography. Volume 65: 55-66 DOI: 10.1515/geocart-2016-0003.

  • Lorek D. (2016). Multimedia integration of cartographic source materials for researching and presenting phenomena from economic history Geodesy and Cartography. Volume 65: 271-282 DOI: 10.1515/geocart-2016-0015.

  • Malczewski J. (2006). GIS-based multicriteria decision analysis: a survey of the literature. International Journal of Geographical Information Science Vol. 20 No. 7 pp. 703-726.

  • Malczewski J. (2004). GIS-Based Land-Use Suitability Analysis: A Critical Overview. Progress in Planning Vol. 62 No. 1 pp. 3-65.

  • Maleta M. & Calka B. Examining spatial autocorrelation of real estate features using Moran statistics SGEM2015 Conference Proceedings ISBN 978-619-7105-35-3 / ISSN 1314-2704 June 18-24 2015 Book2 Vol. 2 pp. 841-848 pp DOI: 10.5593/SGEM2015/B22/S11.106.

  • McKinney M. (2014). Site Suitability Analysis for a Solar Farm in Watauga County NC. Journal of Student Research in Environmental Science at Appalachian Vol. 4.

  • Medyńska-Gulij B. (2014). Cartographic sign as a core of multimedia map prepared by non-cartographers in free map services Geodesy and Cartography. Volume 63:55-64 DOI: 10.2478/geocart-2014-0004.

  • Merrouni A. Ab. Mezrhab & Mezrhab A. (2013). CSP sites suitability analysis in the Eastern region of Morocco. Energy Procedia Vol. 49.

  • Ostaszewska K. & Richling A. (2009). Geografia fizyczna Polski (Geography of Poland). Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.

  • Paska J. & Surma T. (2014). Electricity generation from renewable energy sources in Poland. Renewable Energy 71 pp. 286-294.

  • Pokonieczny K. (2016). Using artificial neural networks to determine the location of wind farms. Miedzna district case study. Journal of Water and Land Development. No. 30 p. 101-111. DOI: 10.1515/jwld-2016-0026.

  • Regulation of the Minister of Energy of 1 December 2016 on calculation of the amount of state aid for producers of electricity from a renewable energy source generated in a renewable energy installation.

  • Saaty R.W. (1987). The Analytic Hierarchy Process - what it is and how it is used. MATHI Modelling Vol. 9.

  • Serrano-Luján L. Espinosa N. Abad J. & Urbina A. (2017). The greenest decision on photovoltaic system allocation.

  • Strzelecki Z. (2011). Plan Zagospodarowania Przestrzennego Województwa Mazowieckiego Warszawa (Ecophysiographic description of the area development plan of the Mazovian Voievodeship).

  • Tahri M. Hakdaoui M. & Maanan M. (2015). The evaluation of solar farm locations applying Geographic Information System and Multi-criteria Decision-Making methods: Case study in southern Morocco. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. Pp. 1354-1362.

  • Tomala J. Kuźma M. & Mościcka A. (2016). Application of excluded areas in travel time mapping. Proceedings of the 16th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConferences SGEM Book 2: informatics Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing Vol. III Albena (Bulgaria) June 28 - July 6 pp. 63-70 DOI: 10.5593/SGEM2016/B23/S11.009.

  • Ustawa z dnia 7 lipca 1994 r. - Prawo budowlane Dz.U. 1994 nr 89 poz. 414. (The act of 7 July 1994 on building law).

  • Ustawa z dnia 27 marca 2003 r. - Ustawa o planowaniu i zagospodarowaniu przestrzennym Dz. U. 2003 nr 80 poz. 717 (The act of 23 March 2003 on planning and spatial development).

Journal information
Cited By
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 1349 514 67
PDF Downloads 795 387 68