The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has recently revealed a new funding amounting to $12 million for eight new projects that would improve predictive modeling capabilities for solar generation.
In a report published on the official website of the U.S. DOE, it was mentioned that the models will pave the way for more precise forecasts of solar generation levels, which will allow utilities to better handle the variability and uncertainty of solar power and improve grid reliability.
U.S. DOE Secretary Rick Perry stated, “These projects will address a critical gap in our research, which is knowing precisely how much solar electricity to expect at any given hour on any given day.”
“These tools are becoming more important as the solar industry continues to grow, and will work to ensure that solar contributes to the reliability, affordability, and resilience of our nation’s electric grid.”
The said funding will also enhance solar forecasting technologies in a coordinated way with partnerships between universities, national labs, and industry. Out of the eight projects, four are focused on making substantial improvements in forecasting solar generation.
One project at the University of Arizona will develop a testing framework to enable industry and academia to assess and compare the performance of latest models based on a clear-cut set of rules and metrics.
Three projects will explore the integration of advanced forecasting technologies with grid planning and operations systems together with the California Independent System Operator, Electric Reliability Council of Texas, and Midcontinent Independent System Operator. The project will determine whether or not certain technological advancements can be effectively incorporated into energy management systems and boost the efficiency of grid operation. It will also try to find out future research needs in the industry.
The press release on DOE’s website also states, “The total DOE investment will spur an additional $2.6 million of private sector funding through cost-share requirements, yielding a total public and private investment of over $14.6 million. The Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) supports early-stage research and development to improve the reliability and performance of solar technologies.”
To know more about the projects, view the page here.