Last week, the Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group (UVIG) recognized Tom Hoff, Clean Power Research founder and president of Research and Consulting, with an award for his ongoing contributions to solar forecasting. The ability to forecast the output of tens of thousands of behind-the-meter (BTM) solar PV systems makes it possible for utilities and balancing authorities to improve integration into power system operations.
Tom has been a pioneer in the science of quantifying solar output, and the resulting methodologies form the basis of the software products offered by Clean Power Research today. Solar forecasts wouldn’t be possible, however, without the ability to process a lot of data very quickly, and that ability comes from the expertise of the Clean Power Research Software Services team.
From theory to operationalization
Today Clean Power Research is delivering PV power forecasts via SolarAnywhere® FleetView®. FleetView is unique in that it incorporates explicit PV system details, including location, layout and hardware specifications, to model and forecast energy production of both utility-scale and distributed PV fleets. This provides cost-effective, high quality forecasts for utility and ISO planning and load-balancing requirements.
Clean Power Research also is leading research on utilizing BTM PV solar production predictions to improve utility and system operator net load forecasts. With a Department of Energy Solar Utility Networks: Replicable Innovations in Solar Energy (SUNRISE) grant, we’re working on operationalizing BTM PV fleet forecasting technologies.
Additionally, Clean Power Research is teaming with Itron on a project funded by an Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) award from the California Energy Commission to support the integration of BTM PV solar forecasting into the California ISO load forecast. By linking rooftop PV solar forecasts to net load energy demands in an operational environment, it will be possible to maximize the benefits of solar generation on California’s electric grid, and help reduce solar integration costs.
The award presented to Tom is a validation of our research focus—and the Clean Power Research company values that drive it, including ingenuity, objectivity and excellence. And while it’s unquestionably an honor to be recognized by a prestigious organization like UVIG, we don’t view the award as recognition that we’ve reached the goal. In spite of the progress and solutions mentioned above, we’ve only scratched the surface of what can be done. We plan to make ongoing and significant contributions to the world of solar forecasting, and to apply those research advances to real world problems through highly scalable, highly available software services.
The Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group was established in 1989 to accelerate the development and application of good engineering and operational practices to support the integration of variable generation for utility applications. UVIG currently has more than 175 members from the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.