Rapid update solar power forecasts with global coverage
Satellite imagery, PV plant measurements and sky-imagers are what power the Solcast Utility Scale Solar Forecast product. We start with our proprietary cloud detection, aerosol tracking and prediction algorithms to continually refresh our global snapshot of the near-term and real-time availability of solar radiation at the solar farm location.
With some basic information about your solar farm asset, we can immediately begin producing live and forecast power output estimates. Then, we run PV power measurement data from your solar farm through machine learning algorithms (PV Tuning) which uniquely tailor the power forecasting models to the behaviour of your individual solar farm.
Finally, if the first few minutes of the prediction are of great importance, we offer an optional sky-imager add-on to track clouds and forecast the local conditions at your site for additional forecast accuracy and precision.
Access to Utility Scale Solar Forecasts
Upon creation of your free API Toolkit account, you will be prompted to add some basic information about your solar farm. This includes the name, location, capacity and installation date. Once completed, this will trigger the creation of a new ‘site’ in our API system, which you can use to instantly retrieve both live (real-time back through 7 days) and forecast (present time to 7 days ahead) power output estimates. Both the live and forecast data are available at 5, 10, 15 and 30 minute time resolution, and include our built-in accuracy assessment tools. After you’ve created a site, you’ll also have the option to upload your plant measurements to leverage our PV Tuning technologies.
Your first Utility Scale site is free to create, with pricing starting from $99USD/month/site for additional sites, with discounts applied for more than five sites. Utility scale sites come with complimentary access to 5, 10, 15 and 30 minute resolution solar irradiance live and forecast data.
In the table below are our indicative specifications. Once you’ve created your free API Toolkit account, you’ll be able to download our data for testing and review our detailed API documentation. Following the below specifications table, is an easy to use pricing calculator.
|Rapid Update||Super Rapid Update|
|Base price||$99/site/month||Contact Us (Enterprise Only)|
|Pricing model||Fee per site |
100 API requests per site per day
Add more at $0.002/request
Discounts for more than 5 sites
|Parameters|| Live & Forecast: |
Includes complimentary access 5/10/15/30 minute resolution Solar Radiation Data
|Time Resolution||5, 10, 15 and 30 minutes||1 minute|
|Update Frequency||Every 5-15 minutes (Rapid Update)||Every 15-60 seconds (Super Rapid)|
|Timespan|| Live: |
7 days ago to present time
Present time to +7 days ahead
|Coverage||All continents (except Antarctica)|
|File Format||CSV JSON XML|
To enable the Utility Scale product for your site, we’ll require some information about your asset, including its capacity, tracking status and installation date. Additionally, if you want to enable PV Tuning, we’ll require some historical power output data.
|Rapid Update & Super Rapid Update|
|Required||latitude, longitude, DC and AC capacity, azimuth, tilt, 1-axis tracking (Y/N)|
|Optional||Installation date, efficiency factor|
|Measurement Data Parameters||Required |
Total power output (MW)
Optional Current availability (% of AC capacity)
Site-mean GHI radiation (W/m2) Network
constraint flag (Boolean) Network
constraint value (MW)
|Measurement Data Period||6 weeks minimum |
12 months optimal
|Measurement Data Resolution||1 minutes (minimum) |
30 minutes (maximum)
5 minutes (optimal)
The Utility Scale Solar Forecast product includes:
- The ability to detect site specifications from PV measurement data (MWac capacity, azimuth, tilt)
- Detection of shading, soiling and other site-specific factors that influence power output
- Support for multiple tracking systems or orientations
- Automated POSTing of PV measurement data to the API service
- Guaranteed privacy for your uploaded PV measurement data
- The ability for users to permanently delete uploaded PV measurement data
Pricing (Paid Tier)
Once you’ve created your API Toolkit account, you’ll have the option of creating one Utility Scale Site. We will provide you with an initial budget of 1000 free API calls, plus 10 free calls per day for your site under our Free Tier.
If you decide you need to add more than one site, or need more API calls per day, you can use the below pricing calculator to estimate the costs of upgrading to a Paid Tier account . When you’re ready to upgrade, simply add your credit card information in the API Toolkit to start a 14-day free trial (which you can cancel at anytime). Pricing for the Utility Scale product starts at $99USD/site/month and includes bulk discounts.
Access to Solcast’s Utility Scale data is just a few clicks away
It’s our aim to make access to high quality solar power forecasting easy and straightforward. With our API Toolkit, you are only a few clicks away from creating your own free account. Create your own Utility Scale Solar Forecast Site, test out co-located high resolution irradiance data, watch the power output forecast graphs change in real-time and check our recent forecast accuracy. The API Toolkit makes it easy to learn about how to retrieve the data you need from our APIs.
One last thing - we also offer long-term historical solar radiation data, back to 2007 in most cases. Our historical data include the TMY, time-series and Monthly Averages data that solar farm developers for site creation, finance and due diligence. You’ll get free historical data credits on sign-up to try it out. Have fun!