The impact of different photovoltaic models for a combined solar array and pumped hydro storage system was investigated. Al-Wehda dam located in Harta city in the northern of Jordan was used to validate the approach. The two-diode (TD), single-diode (SD), and ideal single-diode (ISD) solar models were evaluated in terms of the solar array size, reliability, and ecological effects. The impoundment of Al-Wehda dam was taken as the upper reservoir of the pumped hydro facility of the proposed renewable energy system. It was found that the PV power is more accurately modelled by considering the recombination loss in the TD solar model. This leads to a more realistic sizing and precise system evaluation. Results were obtained using the particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm and the whale optimization algorithm (WOA) for validation purposes. For instance, the PSO results showed that the realistic TD model is reliable, with an index of reliability of 98.558%. Further, it is the most ecological solution with an annual emissions reduction of 21.5198 Gg. The optimized values are 44,840 solar panels and 65.052 M.m3 of the lower reservoir volume for the TD model. The number of PV panels are reduced by 16.67% and 7.93%, respectively, with the ISD and SD relative to the TD model.