NOAA ISIS and SURFRAD stations for verification of solar forecasts for the Solar Forecast Improvement Project (SFIP)

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Monday, 5 January 2015
Kathleen Lantz, CIRES/Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO; and J. J. Michalsky, M. Marquis, G. B. Hodges, E. Hall, J. Wendell, and D. Longenecker

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and two DOE funded teams, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and International Business Machines (IBM) on a Solar Forecasting Improvement Project (SFIP). The main goal of SFIP is to improve solar forecasting and thereby increase penetration of renewable energy on the electric grid. NOAA's ISIS and SURFRAD network is part of this initiative by providing high quality solar irradiance measurements for verification of improvements in solar forecasting for the short-term, day ahead, and ramp events. There are 14 ISIS and SURFRAD stations across the continental United States. The NOAA SURFRAD team has three main components: 1) In addition to the existing stations, two mobile SURFRAD stations will be built and deployed for 1 year each at two separate solar plants. 2) NOAA SURFRAD/ISIS will update the communications at their sites to provide near real-time data for verification activities at the 14 sites. 3) Global horizontal irradiance (GHI), direct normal solar irradiance (DNI), and aerosol optical depth at various spatial and temporal averaging will be compared to forecasts from the 3-km High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) and an advanced version of the 13-km Rapid Refresh (RAP) models, and to NOAA NESDIS's real-time satellite estimates of solar irradiance from GOES at the full spatial and temporal resolution. An update on these activities will be presented.