Weather Regime Identification to Improve Forecasts of Variable Energy Resources

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 2:30 PM
224B (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Chris Hayes, DNV GL, Portland, OR; and J. C. Collier and E. Novakovskaia

The accuracy of solar and wind forecasts is becoming increasingly essential as grid operators continue to integrate additional renewable generation onto the electric grid. Forecast errors affect rate payers, grid operators, wind and solar plant maintenance crews and energy traders through increases in prices, project down time or lost revenue. While extensive and beneficial efforts were undertaken in recent years to improve physical weather models for a broad spectrum of applications these improvements have generally not been sufficient to meet the accuracy demands of system planners. For variable energy resources, these models are often used in conjunction with additional statistical models utilizing both meteorological observations and the power generation data. Forecast accuracy can be dependent on specific weather regimes for a given location. To account for these dependencies it is important that parameterizations used in statistical models change as the regime changes. An automated tool, based on an artificial neural network model, has been developed to identify different weather regimes as they impact power output forecast accuracy at wind or solar farms. In this study, improvements in forecast accuracy were analyzed for varying time horizons for wind farms and utility-scale PV plants located in different geographical regions.