Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements and decreasing costs of photovoltaics (PV) are resulting in significant amounts of solar PV systems being installed in California. Current load forecasting methods often fail to address the growing uncertainty in net load (demand for power less behind-the-meter solar generation) forecasts.

Itron is excited to work with the California Energy Commission, Clean Power Research, the California ISO and utility partners Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric Company on a new project to help reduce net load forecast uncertainty by producing high-accuracy solar generation forecasts and linking them to net load forecasts. Project goals and objectives will be met by applying research in the California ISO (CAISO) and electric utility operations.

Clean Power Research and Itron already supply the CAISO with solar forecasts and net load forecasts separately. Under this research effort, improved forecast methodologies will be developed and implemented starting in mid-2015 with full implementation by mid-to-late 2017.

Success in this area is anticipated to result in reductions in regulation service costs of more than $10 million per year by 2020. Additionally, these improvements will lower regulation service needs by over 2 million MWh per year by 2020, avoiding the emission of up to 2.7 million tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) per year.

Read Clean Power Research’s blog post to learn more about the project. To find out more about Itron’s role in improving Net Load Forecasts please contact Dr. Frank A. Monforte at frank.monforte@itron.com.