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Reference Number NIA_NGET0170
Title PV Monitoring Phase 2
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Solar Energy, Photovoltaics) 50%;
Other Power and Storage Technologies(Electricity transmission and distribution) 50%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
National Grid Electricity Transmission
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 August 2015
End Date 01 August 2017
Duration 24 months
Total Grant Value £438,888
Industrial Sectors Power
Region London
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , National Grid Electricity Transmission (100.000%)
Web Site
Objectives The project will be delivered over two years with the following objectives: Develop methodology for using metered generation data from a sample of solar sites to estimate total GB solar generation. Establish a good understanding of the local variation of solar generation and the confidence levels in the estimation. Use methodology to develop a historic estimate of output for testing against observed National Demand data. Use developed methodology to calculate an estimate of real-time estimation of GB solar output at half hourly resolution. Establish a real-time data feed providing GB estimate to National Grid for operational use. Continue to test and train national model. Develop methodology for a higher geographic resolution model, investigating the benefits of using additional variables such as weather data to enhance outputs. Develop historic estimates for testing outputs against GSP metered data. Use enhanced methodology to provide real-time estimates of solar generation at a regional level. Develop National Grid based solution as operational backup. The project will provide a methodology for using sample data to predict national and regional solar generation The project will establish a live data feed of national and regional solar generation with National Grid. Data will be integrated into National Grid’s electricity forecasting operations.
Abstract The level of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation in Great Britain (GB) has boomed over the last five years. This has been driven by the FiT and RO incentive schemes. We now have close to 600,000 individual sites with over 6,400 MW of total capacity; the installation rate is currently moving at 100MW per month. Assuming this modest level of continued growth, we estimate that GB solar capacity will be about 13 GW by 2020, similar to the current level of wind generation. All PV installations are connected directly to the distribution network. This causes significant issues for the National Grid. Solar PV installations are quite small (typically 4KW home installations with larger commercial solar farms ranging from 1MW up to 40MW) and have no obligation to provide metering to National Grid. The impact is that these installations suppress the electricity demand at a National and a Grid Supply Point level. This apparent reduction is challenging to forecast without metering. This project’s aim is to obtain near real time metering and historical data to improve electricity demand forecasting. Many of the challenges we face with solar generation are similar to those faced with wind; both have highly variable weather dependant output, and both are embedded in the distribution network. The critical difference is that for wind generation, 70% of GB’s installed capacity has transmission system metering. This has allowed us to develop and train our forecasting techniques over time; as such we forecast wind generation to a high level of accuracy. For solar, we cannot benefit from this feedback mechanism. The energy forecasting team has developed new methods for forecasting solar generation. However, with no direct visibility of output it is difficult to optimise models. As such daytime demand forecast error has increased steadily as the level of solar capacity has grown. At its current level of capacity, solar generation is contributing an estimated 450 MW towards summer daytime demand forecast error. This will increase with installed capacity. In order to manage solar generation on the network now and in the future, National Grid needs visibility of real-time output. This project builds on previous work done through the NIA project PV Monitoring Phase 1. The method is to use metered generation data from a sample of regionally distributed sites to estimate GB solar generation. Phase 1 investigated whether this was possible by utilising National Grid’s sites. The learning from this was that though this is possible, the time required to develop our own monitoring network is too great to address the problem. This project will accelerate this process by working with Sheffield Solar, a research group at the University of Sheffield. Sheffield Solar was set up to investigate solar generation. Through their work, they have built up unique expertise in gathering validating and making available data on renewable generators. They own and maintain the Microgen Database; this stores output data from over 6500 UK based sites. These are mostly small scale and well distributed across the UK. This project will utilise the Microgen Database to develop techniques for estimating solar generation based on sample data. This will be used to provide a real-time estimate of GB and regional solar generation to National Grid. Model outputs will be tested and trained against National Grid metered data, with an aim to integrate thedata into operational processes.Note : Project Documents may be available via the ENA Smarter Networks Portal using the Website link above
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 17/09/18