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Photovoltaic Project Development Using RETScreen 4 - Self Study


Author: Michael Ross

Subjects: Solar: Energy Finance, Solar: Marketing and Sales

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972 students have taken this course


This is a free opportunity for you to use RETScreen to model a solar PV project from start to finish.

A large number of factors affect the financial feasibility of a photovoltaic project. These range from the solar resource, equipment costs and financing terms, to tax considerations. RETScreen 4 software provides a rapid “prefeasibility” analysis of a proposed photovoltaic project that includes all these major factors affecting profitability. This is useful when first examining a proposed photovoltaic project; it allows quick evaluation of different project scenarios and helps identify the key determinants of project success. Although it does not replace in-depth engineering and financial tools, it can also be useful as a global summary—easily understood, shared, and communicated—as the project develops and planning becomes more detailed.

This free course will introduce the RETScreen 4 software (freely available at www.RETScreen.net) through an example of its use for assessing a proposed utility-scale photovoltaic project. Participants will learn about the software’s capabilities for assessing photovoltaic plant production, project costs, greenhouse gas emissions calculations, and financial analysis.

At the end of the seminar, the participant will be able to start using RETScreen 4 to explore considerations related to the profitability of his or her own photovoltaic projects, and see how the same tool could be applied to wind, hydro, or other clean energy projects.

Ready To Sign Up Today? Click Here to Enroll

Lecture Video

You can view the lecture video as soon as you enroll. After watching the video, you'll post your questions on the discussion board so they can be answered on the live call.

30 Minute Q+A Call Recording

You will also be able to download a 30-minute Q+A call recording that covers different uses of RETScreen 4 and RETScreen Plus, a comparison to PVWatts, and basics of how to use the software to conduct a financial or sensitivity analysis.

Flexible Online Training for Industry Professionals

This is a self-study, self-paced online course. You can begin instantly upon enrollment and complete the course materials at your own pace.

Access Information and Build Your Training Library

After enrolling, the course materials will remain in your account and be accessible 12 months (1 year) after enrollment. Access can be extended beyond 1 year with a monthly membership. Rewatch videos and review assignments as many times as you want. View updates the instructor makes to the course as the industry advances. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world.

Certificates of Completion Available for Members Only

Certificates of completion are only provided to HeatSpring Membership subscribers. This course has not been approved by any credentialing organizations (NABCEP, AIA, USGBC etc) for Continuing Education Credits (CEUs). This course is for self education purposes only and completion does not indicate a level of professional expertise or credential.


Michael Ross

Michael M. D. Ross has taught RETScreen courses to thousands of people across Canada, in the United States, and in France, and has assisted RETScreen International in the preparation of much of its e-learning course material. Over the past 15 years, he has held research and consulting positions related to renewable energy and energy efficiency in both Canada and Europe....[more]

Course Outline

Analysis of Photovoltaic System Feasiblity

The lecture video is posted and available to view any time. You can also download a 30-minute Q+A call recording that covers different uses of RETScreen 4 and RETScreen Plus, a comparison to PVWatts, and basics on how to conduct a financial or sensitivity analysis.

  • RETScreen 4 (Resource)
  • Lecture: Quick Analysis of Photovoltaic System Feasiblity with RETScreen® 4 (1 hour 15 minutes) (Video - 01:14:52 hours)
  • Optional reading: How to Normalize Energy Consumption For Weather Influences Using RETScreen® (Resource)
  • 30-minute Q+A call recording (MP3) (Resource)

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