The new solar park in Benban, Aswan, has invited 40 international investors to erect PV plants in the park. This mega project required detailed Surface Water Analyses of the area.
Environics was commissioned by Alcazar Energy to prepare a Surface Water Analysis Study for Four sites (Alcazar Energy Egypt Solar 1, Delta for Renewable Energy, Aten Solar Energy & Horus Solar Energy) within Benban Solar Park. The study aimed at determining the potential flash flood hazards, and if needed, identifying adequate protective measures.
The investigation of surface water hydrology around the Benban PV Park area was based on the analysis of available data, which was acquired from various sources, mostly earlier reports about the area, verified scientific and academic websites, statistical information, maps and satellite images, and rainfall data from available meteorological stations nearby the project area, as well as a field visit to project site.
It was based on the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the project area rather than field topographic surveys. This was followed by comprehensive description and analyses of: land-use map around the project area; main tributaries; morphological characteristics; maximum rainfall depths, flood occurrence, and estimation of flood water velocities/depths at intersections of watershed outlets with the project area for different return periods. Watershed Modeling System (WMS) was then used for comprehensive hydrological analysis.
The Study comprised the following Analyses:
The Topographical Analysis using the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the study was a critical input to the Morphological Analysis, undertaken to understand the natural characteristics of drainage basins.
The Geological Analysis to classify the types of rocks and surface soil as well as faults their distribution, was necessary to estimate the potential of water infiltration in the basins.
The Meteorological Analysis, including the inventory of available rainfall data to estimate maximum rainfall quantities, recurrence and distribution, is a critical input to estimate the flash flood hazards.
The Hydrological Analysis, using the Watershed Modeling System (WMS), to develop hydrographs of the drainage basins that affect the area and calculate maximum flood water flow and expected volumes.
Finally, Flood Plain Analysis, extracting cross sections from the DEM at the streams intersecting the Park area, and evaluating the hydraulic safety of the cross sections as well as calculating water levels and velocities at these specific intersections.
Moreover, the study included sites accessibility, limitations and uncertainties to which the results of the study are sensitive, as well as conclusions and recommendations for suitable protection works and mitigation measures.