Integration of Behind-the-Meter PV Fleet Forecasts into Utility Grid System Operations

This paper describes a study, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, to evaluate new, state-of-the-art solar irradiance forecasting models, and integrate behind-the-meter PV forecasts into the California Independent System Operator’s (ISO) load forecasts. This work culminated in a “go” decision being made by the California ISO to include zonal behind-the-meter PV forecasts into its operational load forecasting system. 

As the penetration of customer-sited photovoltaic (PV) systems continues to grow—increasing the amount of on-site energy generation—the load profile in California during critical parts of the day is changing. The California ISO and utilities will need to balance the resultant swings in “net load” caused by the variability in solar generation to maintain the reliability and accessibility of the region's electricity grids. 

This project successfully integrated state-of-the-art forecasting methods to yield robust and accurate behind-the-meter load forecasts for the California ISO. The project demonstrated that SolarAnywhere® FleetView®, which generates up to a seven-day-ahead forecast for every unique PV system within a specified territory, provided a significantly more precise approach as compared with other methods.

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