Solar Panel Projects

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    IMPLAN Support
    Hi Travis! Thank you for your post! So that I understand your project and therefore question. From reading your post, it sounds as if the project is to install solar panels of various sizes. However, are the Solar Panels to be used in a construction project of a new building or are the panels going into an existing structure? While, the impact may be small, there may be some economic boost to the region due to the per-diem spending of the workers whom have to install the panels. Although, this is only if those workers are staying in the Study Area and not commuting into the Study Area. If you know how those workers are spending their labor dollars (restaurants, hotels, entertainment) you can model that spending as an Industry Change Activity. If this is a new building to be constructed, you can customize your own construction spending pattern by choosing the best fit Construction Sector and modifying the spending to fit your construction project. You can access this in the Setup Activities Screen: Activity Options > Import > Industry Spending Pattern. Be sure that you then set your Event Year to to the year of when the building will be built. Capital expenditures are not included in the spending pattern of any of Sector, which includes the Construction Sectors. In regards to the Operations of the Solar Panels, if this is a solar plant being constructed, then you can look at impacting Sector 44 is the Electric Power Generation- Solar. However, you may want to think about doing a Net Analysis though, as while their are positive impacts to solar panels but negative impacts to a different energy sector. There are potential negative impacts to electric producers if households are using less electricity as a result of solar panel installation, and conversely a potential slight increase to disposable income, but that of course can be very hard to quantify and determine if those Households will spend those funds locally or even save them. Unfortunately, unless you have a solar cell manufacturing facility or you are building a solar farm that is taking over the grid, there are typically little to no positive local economic impacts as a result of homes putting on solar cells. The one other potential local impact would be through installation (i.e. I have local companies that install solar cells), but it sounds like in this situation, the installers are also from outside the region. This is one of the unfortunate parts of socially positive impacts, they often are not economical positive. Thanks
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