This assessment item links with course objectives 7, 8, 9 as listed in Part A.
The main objective of this assignment is for students to demonstrate that they can use Office
productivity applications, specifically word-processor and spreadsheet. Students will also
demonstrate that they can interpret problems and organize data and information in the form of
a useful business report using these applications.
Topic Title: CQUniversity”s Solar Power Strategy
Background: CQUniversity wants to place solar panels on the roof of all buildings at all
campuses, and we need your help to determine which solar panel is best by performing some
analysis and preparing a report of your findings.
This assignment requires you to produce 2 files: a report (Word document) and a spreadsheet
(Excel workbook) that analyse a range of solar panels and recommends product(s) based on
selected criteria. All documentation should be written, prepared, and presented to the highest
standards. For this assignment, pretend that you are working as a consultant and your role is
to advise a senior management committee.
• You can use non-Microsoft software, such as Open Office or Star Office, but make
sure you save your work in Microsoft Office format and that you only submit the
Microsoft Office format files.
• None of the solar panel data below is real data, and the calculations specified are
simplified versions for the purposes of this assignment.
File #1: The Spreadsheet
1. Setup Spreadsheet: Download the solar power data file “solar_power.csv” from the course
web site. Copy the data contained in this csv file into a blank spreadsheet and construct the
Solar Power Analysis Worksheet using the steps below.
2. Titles Area: format a titles area as follows in Sheet 1. In Row 1, type your name and student-
ID, and the current date. Merge rows 2–4, cols A-L into a single cell to hold the title. Type
the title “CQUniversity Solar Power Analysis Worksheet” and centre the title horizontally and
vertically, and make the title font bold, 18 point.
3. Columns and Calculations: In addition to the columns of data from the csv file, add the
• Area (sqM)
• Electricity Generated (KW/Year)
• Value of Electricity Generated ($/Year)
• Efficiency (%)
• Greenhouse Gas Reductions (Tons/Year)
• Gross Return per Year (%)
• Overall Score
In order to perform the calculations, some constants are required, and these should be entered
in cells with appropriate labels in the spreadsheet:
Number Days in Year 365
Average Sunlight per Day 7
Price of Electricity ($/KWh) 0.15
Greenhouse Reduction Factor 0.873
The calculations for these items are as follows:
• Area (sqM) = Length (mm) * Width (mm) / 1,000,000
• Electricity Generated (KW/Year) = Output Capacity (W) * Number Days in Year *
Average Sunlight per Day / 1,000
• Value of Electricity Generated ($/Year) = Electricity Generated (KW/Year) * Price of
• Efficiency (%) = Output Capacity (W) / (1000 * Area (sqM))
• Greenhouse Gas Reductions (Tons/Year) = Electricity Generated (KW/Year) / (1000
* Greenhouse Reduction Factor)
• Gross Return per Year (%) = Value of Electricity Generated ($/Year) / Price ($)
• Overall Score =
(1 x Efficiency (%) / Maximum Efficiency (%) for all Solar Panels analysed
1 x Greenhouse Gas Reductions (Tons/Year) / Maximum Greenhouse Gas
Reductions (Tons/Year) for all Solar Panels analysed +
1 x Gross Return per Year (%) / Maximum Gross Return per Year (%) for all
Solar Panels analysed) * 10
Note: each of the components of the calculation of Overall Score above are multiplied
by 1 above because they are all of equal weighting. If we wanted to weight
components differently, then we would change the multiplier for the components. For
example, to weight the Gross Return component twice as highly as the other
components, we would multiply this component by 2 instead of 1.
• To help you understand these calculations (and check your work) here is a screen shot
showing a small part of the spreadsheet data and calculations for one of the panels that
you will be provided (Note: if the list of solar panels, or the solar panel data changes,
the maximums at the bottom of the table will change, and this will affect other
calculations, such as the Overall Score):
• Add rows with formulas to calculate:
o Totals: for Electricity Generated (KW/Year) and Value of Electricity
o Averages: for Efficiency (%),Greenhouse Gas Reductions (Tons/Year),
Gross Return per Year (%), and Overall Score.
o Minimums: for Efficiency (%),Greenhouse Gas Reductions (Tons/Year),
Gross Return per Year (%), and Overall Score.
o Maximums: for Efficiency (%),Greenhouse Gas Reductions (Tons/Year),
Gross Return per Year (%), and Overall Score.
• You must use spreadsheet functions, such as SUM, AVERAGE, MAX, MIN, etc,
4. Chart: using the spreadsheet’s Chart Wizard, create a simple line chart that shows the Price
($) and the Gross Return per Year (%), and place this chart in a new worksheet. Include
appropriate title and axis labels to make this chart understandable to anyone reading it.
a. Hint: because you are graphing items with different units of measure and scales, you
will need to add a secondary axis,
5. Save the file. You will do further operations on the spreadsheet as part of completing the
File #2: The Report Document
Write a report to summarise the analysis contained in the spreadsheet, to present the information in an
easily understandable form.
Your report should address the following:
• Include (copy and paste) the Chart(s) you generated in the spreadsheet and then describe and
summarise the information that each chart provides. For example, are there solar panels that are
significantly better or worse than the others? How can you determine this from the graph? Why
is this so?
• Answer these specific questions:
o Given the scoring criteria above, which solar panel would you recommend and why?
o If the scoring criteria were changed, how would this affect your recommendation(s)?
Hint: you will need to explore this in your spreadsheet and then include and discuss the
results in your report document. For example:
If the Overall Score was calculated based on Greenhouse Gas Reductions alone,
which solar panel would you recommend? Why?
If the Overall Score was calculated based on Gross Return (%) alone, which solar
panel would you recommend? Why?
Given the increasing consideration for the environment in today”s society, if the
Greenhouse Gas Reductions was weighted twice as high as the other factors in
calculation of the Overall Score, which solar panel would you recommend?
If the Greenhouse Gas Reductions was weighted three times as high as the other
factors in calculation of the Overall Score, which solar panel would you
o Consider the Gross Return of the best solar panel. Do you think the Gross Return
calculation is realistic? Are there other costs that have not been taken into account? Do
you think CQUniversity should invest in solar power? Or, should CQUniversity do
something else with their money? Term deposit in a bank? Shares? Real estate?
Something else? Explain your answer. What could CQUni do to reduce the costs of solar
installation to make solar power more attractive?
o You need to consider your audience and ensure that your report is easy to read, flows
logically, and uses language that is appropriate to your audience and to your relationship
as a consultant to that audience.
o If you can demonstrate, show, or illustrate something in diagrammatic form, then do so at
every opportunity. For example, if you can generate other graphs or charts that help
explain the points you are trying to make, then feel free to add these.
Report document layout and formatting requirements
Write a report for the senior management committee. This report should be from third person point of
view, which is standard in business reports.
Your report must have the following sections in the order listed:
1. Title Page: Provide a suitable title for the report, your name, student number, date, version
number, who the report is for, and Student Declaration. This Student Declaration must state:
“I certify that this assignment is my own work, based on my personal study and/or research,
and that I have acknowledged all material and sources used in the preparation of this
assignment whether they be books, articles, reports, lecture notes, and any other kind of
document, electronic or personal communication. I also certify that the assignment has not
previously been submitted for assessment in any other course or at any other time in this
course, unless by negotiation, and that I have not copied in part or whole or otherwise
plagiarised the work of other students and / or persons. I have read the CQU policy on
plagiarism and understand its implication. I can produce a hard copy of this assignment
within 24 hours if requested.”
NOTE: Your submission of the assignment will be taken as official notice that you have
signed the Student Declaration. If your assignment is submitted without this declaration, it
will not be marked.
Important: You are strongly advised against lending or giving a copy of your
assignment to any other student to use. When incidents of copying arise, students caught
up in it are often unable to prove they were the original author, and are consequently
penalised for plagiarism.
2. Executive Summary: outline the purpose of the report and provide a brief summary of the
topics and issues that are discussed, and the major findings and recommendations. This
section should be on its own page, and be no more than half a page in length.
3. Table of Contents (TOC): use the word-processor “s Table of Contents (TOC) feature to
generate a suitable TOC that can be updated automatically. Do not manually type out a TOC.
The title page, executive summary, and table of contents itself should not appear in the table
4. Introduction: identify the purpose of the report and the issues you will be discussing within
the body of the report. Why is doing this work worthwhile? Why is this relevant in today”s
society? Who cares?
5. Discussion: In the discussion section, you discuss the major activities in which you engaged,
and your findings and results.
6. Conclusions and Recommendations: based on your findings and on your evaluation,
summarise your conclusions and make your recommendations to management. Be as specific
as possible with your recommendations. Do not introduce new material or new arguments
into this section. Ensure that what you write is logical (follows on from everything previous),
and appropriate (accurate, and actually addresses client concerns).
7. References: include in this section any web site addresses from which you obtained
information, as well as information or help you received from any other sources, including the
textbook. Remember that only cited sources should be included in a References section. Use
the Harvard system of referencing to correctly cite in-text as well as listing in the References.
8. Header & Footer: Provide a header and footer for your assignment. In the header, put your
student-ID on the left side and your full name on the right side. In the footer, insert a page
number, centred. The header and footer should not appear on the Title Page, Executive
Summary page, or on the Table of Contents page, but should appear on all other pages.
9. Style: Use a word processor to create the business report in portrait-mode, single spaced,
Times New Roman, 12-point font for all non-heading text.
For this assignment, you need to upload 2 files: a spreadsheet and a word-processor document, and
both must be in Microsoft Office format.
If you are using non-Microsoft software, such as Open Office or Star Office, then make sure you save
your work in Microsoft Office format and that you only submit the Microsoft Office format files. For
example, use “Save As” to save word-processor files as .DOC or .DOCX and spreadsheet files as
.XLS or .XLSX. DO NOT submit any other kinds of file, such as ODS, ODT, PDF, RTF, etc.
Before submitting your work, review the assignment requirements. Have you achieved all of these?
Have you included all of the sections of the report? You may wish to check the detailed marking
guide for the assignment to verify that your assignment meets the marking criteria.
Submit your assignment files electronically by using the assignment upload links provided on
the course website.
In order to submit your assignment work, you will need to confirm that the work is completely your
DRAFT Marking guide
Here is a DRAFT marking guide for this assignment:
• Report Document Format 4
• Report Document Presentation 4
• Report Document Content 4
• Spreadsheet 8
Deductions: late submission, plagiarism, unsatisfactory
work, incorrect results or recommendations, submission of
incorrect file type(s).
Please Note: A FINAL marking guide for this assessment item will be made available on the course
WEB site at the start of the term. You should make sure that you double check your work against this
FINAL marking guide before submitting your assignment. The FINAL marking guide will be filled
in by markers during the marking of your assignment, and will be returned to you electronically when
your assignment has been marked.
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