NY Power Authority, National Lab Scale Up Solar Forecasting Research

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) last week said that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office has allocated $500,000 in matching funds to step up joint research into solar power forecasting.

The funds will be used to develop prediction models that anticipate output from both large solar facilities and rooftop solar resources and pass the information on to operators.

“We need to fully understand solar output, whether rooftop or utility scale, and what the impact is of changing weather conditions, if we want to fully integrate photovoltaic power generation into system operations,” Alan Ettlinger, director of research, technology development and innovation at NYPA, said in a statement. “This project will show the potential value of upcoming technologies and allow us to step up the research to integrate smart forecasting into the grid management system.”

The new project will build on prior research by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) team. NYPA said that previously NCAR developed a specialized weather prediction model for day-ahead forecasting, and BNL developed a sky imager system to determine the movement of clouds and their more immediate impact on power generation.

NYPA added that the new project will scale up that research and determine the benefit of deploying to the wider New York state area. Activities will focus on the use of sensors and other equipment to allow for improved cloud and irradiance forecasting at several representative sites across New York State.

The final phase of the project, scheduled to conclude in 2019, will involve the implementation of solar cameras at four representative sites across New York.

Lead image credit: CC0 Creative Commons | Pixabay

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