Blog

A collection of our current and past announcements, events and thoughts on everything related to the solar-powered future.

PVSyst Meteo Data Import with Solcast
25 May 2020

PVSyst Meteo Data Import with Solcast

Your team's investment of time and energy into your solar project are by no means the 'default' level of effort. You've worked hard to make your solar farm a reality. So why would you choose the 'default' option when it comes to your weather/meteo data file?

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Meteonorm dataset limitations
13 May 2020

Meteonorm dataset limitations

The key limitations of Meteonorm's representativeness lie within the use of 1) interpolated and 2) synthetic data. Interpolations rely heavily on surface observation data, which are not equally distributed. Synthetic estimates are useful when high quality direct observational data does not exist. However, given the presence of a global fleet of high resolution weather satellites that directly image cloud cover - this is not the case.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Browsable global solar radiation maps are live
08 May 2020

Browsable global solar radiation maps are live

Browse animated solar radiation maps in your area of interest - updated daily! Includes a history, broken down by date with global coverage. It's our new solar radiation map archive and it's totally rad.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Malaysian solar power forecasting requirements
22 April 2020

Malaysian solar power forecasting requirements

"We enjoy a considerable amount of hot and sunny weather in Malaysia but we also have very low cloud cover. The other challenge is of course electricity generated must be used immediately." -TNB Chairman Tan Sri Leo Moggie-

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

High-resolution elevation grid for historical solar data
31 March 2020

High-resolution elevation grid for historical solar data

We're committed to maintaining an industry-leading solar resource dataset, with a continuous company focus on improving the accuracy of our data. In this post, we explore the new 150m2 elevation grid.

Author: Ben King

Solar power forecasting in Vietnam made easy
27 March 2020

Solar power forecasting in Vietnam made easy

"Despite the fact that solar power is a valuable capacity addition to the power system which is facing difficulties in power supplies, a large number of solar power plants coming into operation in a short period have been causing many challenges to the operation of power system." - EVN NLDC.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Solar power forecasting in Ukraine
28 February 2020

Solar power forecasting in Ukraine

Solar power forecasting is becoming essential for successful grid integration in Ukraine. Accurate forecasts can help with day-ahead bidding of power, by allowing larger bids and/or reducing imbalance or accuracy penalties.

Author: James Luffman

Three Time-saving Tips for Solar Forecast Validation
20 February 2020

Three Time-saving Tips for Solar Forecast Validation

Don't be a forecast validation super-hero. Just get the job done. Three time and sanity saving tips from our CTO.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Let Solcast take the pain out of PV generation forecasting at your solar farm asset
13 November 2019

Let Solcast take the pain out of PV generation forecasting at your solar farm asset

Owners and operators of solar farms already have one too many things to think about. Compliance items stack up by the thousands very quickly. Utilities providing their network connections can impose new requirements without warning. Manufacturers of key components can go bankrupt and leave you without an important spare part! Don't let setting up solar forecasting technology at your asset be another pain-point. Use the Solcast API Toolkit!

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Lowering uncertainty is fundamental to managing solar investment risk
23 October 2019

Lowering uncertainty is fundamental to managing solar investment risk

The principal input to the rate of return calculation for a solar farm asset is the expected revenue generation from the solar farm. This highlights the importance of high quality solar irradiance data: revenue generation is primarily influenced by the availability of solar irradiance at that location over time.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Price Flexibility at the Gym and Your Next Solar Project
17 October 2019

Price Flexibility at the Gym and Your Next Solar Project

What do going to the gym and purchasing historical solar radiation data online have in common? Price (in)flexibility!

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

How to download and test Solcast TMY and timeseries data in just minutes for FREE
09 October 2019

How to download and test Solcast TMY and timeseries data in just minutes for FREE

Now that you have your FREE Solcast data credits - we suggest you download your own sample TMY or historical time-series file. This only takes a matter of minutes to achieve through the Solcast API Toolkit, and in this post, we're going to show you how!

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Solar forecasting for solar cars
08 October 2019

Solar forecasting for solar cars

Learn about how the Eclipse X solar car team uses solar forecasting in its race strategy!

Author: Félix-Antoine Robert

A Review of the Historical and TMY data now on offer through the API Toolkit
02 October 2019

A Review of the Historical and TMY data now on offer through the API Toolkit

In this post, Solcast dives into its historical and TMY data offering. This includes a brief review of methods plus the basics on historical time-series data, typical meteorological year data and monthly averages data.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Solcast partnership with BloomSky deploying sky-imagers
30 September 2019

Solcast partnership with BloomSky deploying sky-imagers

Solcast has partnered with BloomSky on our Super Rapid Update solar power forecasting products. Get a sky-imager installed on your solar farm site with affordable and fast installation.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Historical and TMY data in the API Toolkit: the next step in the Solcast mission
27 September 2019

Historical and TMY data in the API Toolkit: the next step in the Solcast mission

Solcast took a close look at the way solar farm financiers, developers and due diligence firms were accessing the historical and TMY solar data services they needed. Our conclusion? The whole process was overdue for overhaul!

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Solcast becomes the commercial solar and wind forecasting provider to EVN Vietnam
20 September 2019

Solcast becomes the commercial solar and wind forecasting provider to EVN Vietnam

We are delighted to announce that EVN Vietnam has recently signed up as a Solcast customer for both our solar power forecasting and wind energy forecasting solutions

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Announcing a global partnership with Meteocontrol
13 September 2019

Announcing a global partnership with Meteocontrol

Starting this month, Solcast and Meteocontrol have begun a global partnership, including data for nearly 50,000 locations around the world. That's the power of the Solcast API!

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Asia Utility Week - Solar Irradiance Data Nowcasting Technology
09 September 2019

Asia Utility Week - Solar Irradiance Data Nowcasting Technology

Solcast recently presented two high profile talks at the Asia Utility Week event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This included a 5-minute 'pitch', which you can watch in the included material.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Pricing for our global solar API announced! Live and forecast irradiance and PV power data by location
28 August 2019

Pricing for our global solar API announced! Live and forecast irradiance and PV power data by location

Announcing an introductory pricing model for the World Solar Radiation and World PV Power API data products that is simple, flexible, and suitable for pay-as-you-go applications.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Free historical solar irradiance data credit applied to all Solcast API accounts
23 August 2019

Free historical solar irradiance data credit applied to all Solcast API accounts

We've just launched our best promotional offer yet, and topped up your API account with $250 of historical data credits

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

How Solcast creates solar irradiance data from satellite imagery
16 August 2019

How Solcast creates solar irradiance data from satellite imagery

This article introduces the basics on how Solcast creates its solar irradiance data including how it uses satellite images and solar radiation models.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Introducing Super-Rapid Update Forecasting for Solar Farms
02 August 2019

Introducing Super-Rapid Update Forecasting for Solar Farms

How Solcast is using sky cameras and live SCADA information to improve short range solar power forecasting and solar irradiance forecasting

Author: James Luffman

Solar GIS Data for the Solar Powered Future
15 July 2019

Solar GIS Data for the Solar Powered Future

Solar GIS data includes both a given location (latitude and longitude), plus time-series information (attribute) about the historical, live or forecast solar irradiance and weather at that location.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Solar forecasting for electricity networks
08 July 2019

Solar forecasting for electricity networks

Through creation of customised Solcast Grid Aggregations for the behind the meter solar installed downstream of a particular zone substation, this distribution network was finally able to correct the apparent (net) demand profiles for the impacts of cloud cover.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Solar Power Forecasting for Energy Markets
30 June 2019

Solar Power Forecasting for Energy Markets

Why are solar power forecasting technologies important for energy markets?

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Solar Power Forecasting: what it is and how to do it
10 June 2019

Solar Power Forecasting: what it is and how to do it

Solar power forecasting is at its core a weather forecasting problem. It starts with modeling of the Sun's position with respect to a given location at the Earth's surface, before then modeling the transmittance of solar radiation through the Earth's atmosphere.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Behind the meter solar power forecasting and PV fleet visibility
23 May 2019

Behind the meter solar power forecasting and PV fleet visibility

As soon as penetrations of behind the meter solar PV sites reach 1-2% of total load, forecasting the power output of these PV systems starts to become critical for efficient market and network operation. Without including a behind the meter solar forecast into the overall load forecasting operations, errors in the daily load forecast start to appear. Thankfully, Solcast's Grid Aggregations are easy to set-up, are highly accurate, and can help solve this challenging problem!

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

The limitations of numerical weather models for solar irradiance forecasting
08 May 2019

The limitations of numerical weather models for solar irradiance forecasting

A brief look at where the use of numerical weather models falls short for solar irradiance forecasting

Author: James Luffman

API Toolkit Launch Makes Accessing Solar Data Easier Than Ever
04 April 2019

API Toolkit Launch Makes Accessing Solar Data Easier Than Ever

Starting in April 2019, all registered Solcast users will arrive into our new API Toolkit on login/registration. There, you'll find a set of live demonstration sites for the data product categories relevant to your experience, and be able to create new sites, access recent, live and forecast data, or download historical data at the site of your choosing.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Self Forecasting for Eight Australian Solar Farms
28 March 2019

Self Forecasting for Eight Australian Solar Farms

Eight of Australia’s large-scale solar farms will partner with Solcast to utilise our Super Rapid Update forecasting product for 5-minute ahead solar power forecasting.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

The Importance Of Choosing Modern Short-Term Solar Power Forecasting Solutions In India
22 March 2019

The Importance Of Choosing Modern Short-Term Solar Power Forecasting Solutions In India

India has shown great leadership with its aggressive solar installation targets. With its state distribution companies now due to enforce penalties for inaccurate solar forecasts, it would be quite wise to also show leadership in its implementation of its solar forecasting technologies and network/market operations by choosing modern approaches.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Short-term solar forecasting for utility solar sites: core business or distraction?
06 March 2019

Short-term solar forecasting for utility solar sites: core business or distraction?

Solar farm operators are coming under growing pressure to help maintain network stability by providing accurate generation forecasts. As our CTO Dr. Nick Engerer writes, innovations in short-term forecasting are providing operators with new options for making this task less of a distraction from their core business

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

How Solcast is better suited to solar energy applications than generic weather APIs like DarkSky
20 February 2019

How Solcast is better suited to solar energy applications than generic weather APIs like DarkSky

Generic weather APIs can be cool and cheap, but there are some fundamental reasons why they don’t work well for solar energy

Author: James Luffman

Free PV system performance estimate
08 February 2019

Free PV system performance estimate

All around the world, solar owners are wondering the same thing: Are my solar panels performing as expected? How can I monitor my PV system's performance? Are my solar panels working? Use our FREE PV system performance estimator to find out!

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Solar Irradiance Data - Everywhere You Need It
06 February 2019

Solar Irradiance Data - Everywhere You Need It

No source of information is more important for the solar energy industry than solar irradiance data! Our team believes we have the most accurate and most widely available historical, live and forecast solar radiation data available, and we are committed to improving it every week.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

FREE Solar Radiation Historical Data for Researchers
06 February 2019

FREE Solar Radiation Historical Data for Researchers

Solcast wants to give you the data you need for your research work for FREE (no cash required!). As a researcher, we'll provide you with access to our Recent and Historical Solar Irradiance Data for non-commercial research use.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Rooftop Solar Forecasting for One or Many Thousands of PV Sites
04 February 2019

Rooftop Solar Forecasting for One or Many Thousands of PV Sites

We offer a simple PV power conversion model, which connects our global, rapid-update cloud nowcasting system with the location and installed capacity of the target PV system. We then generate an estimate of the future power output of each site, which you can instantly access via our API

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

A Solar Irradiance Data API Built with Users in Mind
31 January 2019

A Solar Irradiance Data API Built with Users in Mind

You can get started with the Solcast API services in less than five minutes. Sign-up for our API and instantly access our global solar forecasting (0-7 days) and estimated actuals dataset (last 7 days). You can also model and forecast utility scale solar farms, create your own grid aggregations and generate forecasts for individual rooftop PV sites trial upon request. Historical data downloads of up to 10 years of data are also available!

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Solar Power Forecasting for Utility Scale Farms
24 January 2019

Solar Power Forecasting for Utility Scale Farms

Solcast have worked diligently to enable the hard-working folks who are managing, operating and deploying utility scale solar farm sites by delivering on an easy to use and easy to understand forecasting solution via API

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Grid Aggregations for Behind the Meter Solar Forecasting
21 January 2019

Grid Aggregations for Behind the Meter Solar Forecasting

We use our rapid update cloud and irradiance modelling capability and combine it with information about the spatial distribution and installed capacities of your PV fleet to deliver live, forecast and historical estimates fleet performance.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Global Solar Irradiance Forecasts and Historical Datasets
31 October 2018

Global Solar Irradiance Forecasts and Historical Datasets

When we first launched the Solcast API in early 2017, the Solcast team was excited to learn more about the market for historical and forecast solar irradiance and solar power data services. Now, 18 months later, with nearly a thousand users across five continents, we see no better way to launch our company blog than by thanking those users for their commitment to the integration of solar energy, and for being such forward-thinking early adopters of the Solcast API. So - Thank you!

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Publication of a Research Grade Solar PV Power Dataset
30 June 2018

Publication of a Research Grade Solar PV Power Dataset

A free high quality dataset of PV system power measurements from 1,287 residential installations across Australia

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Solar Forecasting Webinar with Western Power and Australian National University
21 May 2018

Solar Forecasting Webinar with Western Power and Australian National University

Next week, our CTO Dr. Nick Engerer will travel to Perth to join our collaborators at Western Power to host a webinar reviewing the rooftop solar related challenges in West Australia

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

High Resolution Solar Forecasting for South Australia Power Networks
25 April 2018

High Resolution Solar Forecasting for South Australia Power Networks

Solcast is now committed to delivering the world's highest-resolution solar forecasting technologies to SAPN by the end of this year. Allowing SAPN to finally have the LV network visibility they require for managing & planning for their network operations.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

High Penetration Renewables: The Weather is Our Fuel
15 March 2018

High Penetration Renewables: The Weather is Our Fuel

It is becoming very important to pay great attention to the *detail* of how the wind & solar resource will change over the course of a given day in order to appropriately manage the balance of supply and demand

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Solar Forecasting Under Complicated Cloud Cover Conditions
22 February 2018

Solar Forecasting Under Complicated Cloud Cover Conditions

There were quite complicated cloud cover conditions over South Australia yesterday, where solar energy penetrations are amongst the highest in the world

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Solar Energy is an Exponential Technology
16 January 2018

Solar Energy is an Exponential Technology

Solar is an exponential technology. What this means, is that its price performance is falling on an exponential curve and its growth globally is growing upwards in the same fashion.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer

Behind-the-Meter Solar PV Forecasting in West Australia
05 June 2017

Behind-the-Meter Solar PV Forecasting in West Australia

Behind the meter solar PV power forecasting is an essential tool for accurate supply and demand balance for grid operators. And with rooftop PV installations in Western Australia growing quickly, load forecasting is becoming increasingly difficult for our partner Western Power.

Author: James Luffman

Forecasting Collective Solar PV Ramping Events
22 May 2017

Forecasting Collective Solar PV Ramping Events

When a few hundreds of megawatts of solar generation undergoes a negative ramp event, the energy markets see a sudden jump in the regional demand and local distribution networks will see changes in network loads/voltages in their control rooms. This leads to challenges managing our electricity markets and networks in areas where large amounts of solar are installed.

Author: Dr. Nick Engerer