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Improve forecasts into how behind-the-meter solar will impact planned system upgrades and capacity needs
Accurately forecast demand and plan ahead for the future
As behind-the-meter solar (BTM) installations continue to grow, its impact on the ways wholesale market participants operate, model demand, and plan for the future is increasing. Because there is no systematic reporting or real-time collection of behind the meter generation, it is becoming increasingly difficult for market participants to accurately forecast demand and plan for the future. Consistent with Genscape’s overall mission to make markets more efficient through transparency, Genscape now has available for market participants actual, nearly real-time generation on behind the solar meter output at more than 20% of all behind the meter capacity. This information can be used to improve:
- System Planning: for ISOs and Utilities: Improve forecasts into how behind-the-meter solar will impact planned system upgrades and capacity needs
- Demand Forecasting: Improve demand forecasting capabilities with better “like day” analysis and understanding of how weather events affect behind-the-meter output.
How does Genscape collect this information?
Genscape subsidiary Locus Energy is a monitoring and data analytics platform for the distributed solar PV market — spanning the residential, commercial, industrial, and utility sectors. As of 2018, Locus has over 150,000 monitored sites across the United States and monitors over 1.5 GW of behind-the-meter solar. The figure on the right shows our estimate of Locus’ coverage of solar capacity in key markets. The data Locus collects from its monitor is used by the owners and managers of these assets to verify production levels, identify performance issues, and better optimize their fleets.
Data Delivery Methods
Our Behind-the-Meter data offering makes this actual solar production data available to anyone in the industry as an aggregated and anonymized1 data stream. The heart of Genscape’s BTM data is the Per-Unit-Production metric. Defined as (total kW output from sites) / (total kW capacity of sites) for the sites with monitors in a given region, the metric is intended to help characterize the productivity of installed solar assets for a specific region and time. Using this information, analysts and forecasters can build their own estimates of production in an area (e.g. estimating solar capacity in each zip code, and then aggregating up to larger areas such as load zones).
The data is provided via an API. It is available in 15-minute intervals and can be made available in near-real time. Depending on subscription level, customers have the flexibility to query different regions and aggregations at the frequencies that best suit their needs.