Clean Power Research Takes on Solar Soft Costs and PV Fleet Integration with $1.5 million in SunShot Initiative Awards
New software services will help utilities cost-effectively manage interconnection, better engage solar customers, and forecast PV fleet production for grid integration
Chicago, Solar Power International, Booth 3216, Oct. 22, 2013—Clean Power Researchâ (www.cleanpower.com) has been awarded approximately $1.5 million in U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative funds to commercialize software solutions that will help reduce solar soft costs and integrate distributed photovoltaic (PV) fleet forecasts into grid operations. SunShot Incubator funding will be used to launch software that will streamline PV interconnection and allow utilities to deeply engage solar customers. A second award from the SunShot Solar Utility Networks: Replicable Innovations in Solar Energy (SUNRISE) program will enable operationalization of PV fleet forecasting technologies.
"With these awards, Clean Power Research will offer electricity providers a set of software tools that will enable more efficient management and integration of their distributed solar resources at every stage in the solar lifecycle," said Jeff Ressler, president of Software Services at Clean Power Research. "For many years, we have helped utilities reduce incentive administration costs by up to 65%. With these awards, we'll be bringing that same level of efficiency to interconnection administration, and provide utilities a platform to engage solar customers by giving them a trusted source of information on the benefits of solar. We'll also help utilities and balancing authorities reduce operating costs by integrating our PV fleet forecasts into the planning and operational software tools they are already using."
Clean Power Research will be demonstrating these technologies at Solar Power International 2013, booth #3216.
Reducing Solar Soft Costs with PowerClerkâ Interconnect
SunShot Incubator funding will be used to commercialize PowerClerk Interconnect, an online automation tool that will significantly reduce soft costs through streamlined interconnection processing. SunShot funding will also support development of a solar engagement platform that will leverage PV system data from PowerClerk to allow utilities to educate their customers about distributed solar in their service area, and lower customer acquisition costs.
Clean Power Research has assembled a team of solar leaders to participate in this project, including: the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO); the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD); Sun Number; and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). More information about PowerClerk Interconnect can be found at www.cleanpower.com/2013/smash-solar-interconnection-costs.
PV Fleet Forecasting with SolarAnywhere® FleetView™
SUNRISE funding will be used to operationalize PV fleet forecasting capabilities available through SolarAnywhere FleetView. Integration of accurate PV fleet forecasts into utility and independent system operator (ISO) planning and operational tools will reduce costs through improved load scheduling, and the ability of balancing authorities to better manage and purchase reserve capacity.
"Impacts from distributed PV generation are steadily increasing, and we feel this on the load forecasting side of bulk power system operations," said Jim Blatchford, manager of Short Term Forecasting, Market Quality and Renewable Integration at the California ISO. "At the ISO, we need a high level of detail in our tools to enhance our ability to accurately schedule electricity a day-ahead of when it is needed, and then balance supply and demand in real-time."
As a result of funding from California Solar Initiative Research, Development, Deployment and Demonstration (CSI RD&D) projects and the California Energy Commission, FleetView™ is today producing seven-day-ahead forecasts every half-hour of more than 170,000 PV systems within the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) balancing area. This project will focus on integrating these forecasts into the CAISO Short Term Forecasting Group's Automatic Load Forecasting System (ALFS) to improve the CAISO hour-ahead and day-ahead load forecasts.
CPR will also collaborate with the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Center for Renewable Resources and Integration to further increase forecast accuracy through machine learning algorithms. Clean Power Research is also providing FleetView forecasts and development support for SUNRISE projects led by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and Pepco Holdings, Inc.
More information about the solar forecast for the CAISO can be found at www.cleanpower.com/2013/forecast-distributed-pv/.
The Link between PowerClerk Interconnect and FleetView
As the popularity of solar grows and PV penetration levels increase, utilities will have a greater need to account for these distributed resources. PowerClerk Interconnect and PowerClerkâ Incentives accurately catalog PV system specifications, information that is vital for a variety of planning and operational activities such as FleetView power production calculations. For example, data captured in PowerClerk Incentives through the California Solar Initiative provided the primary system specification input that is used to produce the CAISO solar forecast today.
About the SunShot Initiative
The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, DOE supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at http://www.energy.gov/sunshot.
About Clean Power Research
Clean Power Research provides software, research and consulting services that power intelligent energy decisions. Solar prediction, economic valuation and program optimization products make it simple for customers to get fast, accurate, location-specific information about the value of their renewable energy projects. Utilities, government agencies, engineers, developers, manufacturers, installers and financiers rely on Clean Power Research for project siting, planning and operations, incentive and interconnection management, and renewable energy sales. Founded in 1998, the company has offices in Napa, Calif., and Kirkland, Wash. For more information, visit www.cleanpower.com.