Low Rooftop Solar PV Power Outputs in South Australia

16 May 2017

Exceptionally low solar PV power outputs across South Australia

Having high-resolution, rapid update solar forecasting data in your control room is incredibly important as the penetrations of rooftop solar and utility scale solar farm rise. In South Australia, where more than 1 in 4 homes have rooftop solar, this is particularly relevant.

When you consider that South Australia has nearly 900MW of rooftop solar installed to date, daytime minimum of 65MW around 11AM local time today is quite low! This was a result of a passing cold front with multiple cloud layers and very little solar radiation arriving to those rooftop solar sites. That's less than 10% of the installed total right in the middle of the day!

This example highlights the important of having quality solar forecasting data for rooftop solar sites included in the load forecasting models for areas with high penetrations of rooftop solar. Without this type of data, large load forecasting errors become possible.

Here's a screenshot of Solcast's estimated actuals and forecasts as at 3pm today, for the South Australia grid connection points. This example of our Grid Aggregations product, groups the power output from SA's rooftop solar PV systems at the point where they connect back to the transmission network. In this example, the transmission network points with the highest installed rooftop PV are included.

south australia lower behind the meter solar PV power output forecasting.png

Create your own Grid Aggregation for Behind the Meter Solar PV

You can get started on your first Grid Aggregation quickly and trial it by privately sharing very basic PV installation metadata (have you signed up for our API?). Get in touch with us for a sample upload file format, and to discuss your use case in more detail. Once your aggregation goes live in our system (usually within 2-3 days), we’ll provide you with unique forecasting and estimated actuals API endpoints for your evaluation.

From there you can use Grid Aggregation forecasts for

  • Train and improve load forecasting models to include the impacts of behind-the-meter solar generation
  • Manage low voltage network demand forecasting, including planning for periods of minimum demand
  • Manage spinning reserve or backup power supplies in

And more!

James Luffman

James Luffman

Solcast CEO • Author

James is a former operational meteorologist, and has worked as a senior manager in the weather industry. James has designed, built and operated real-time modelling systems for industrial applications, bringing key expertise to the deployment of our operational products and services.

James sees the integration of increasing solar and storage as a singularly critical technology challenge of the next 10 years.