This year’s 11th Annual ISO/RTO/TSO Forecasting Summit was held in San Antonio, Texas from May 16-18. Just like the defenders of the Alamo banded together amid adversity many years ago, forecasters from CAISO, ISO New England, NYISO, PJM, MISO, ERCOT, SPP, AESO, IESO, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Bonneville Power Administration gathered to share insights into some of the most pervasive challenges facing today’s industry.

During the three days, a vast range of rich and thought-provoking topics were discussed. These topics included emerging challenges of solar penetration and trends, and complex modeling issues. These topics are further described below.

  • Emerging Challenges of Solar Penetration. The emerging challenges of solar penetration were highlighted as attendees presented on various approaches used to incorporate behind-the-meter solar generation into both short and long-term load forecasts. An interesting discussion of common practices for managing steadily expanding solar and wind resource markets got everyone engaged, and empirical research exhibiting increased load weather sensitivity caused by increased PV penetration gave everyone pause.
  • Emerging Trends. Companies discussed the potential impacts of time-of-use (TOU) rates, plug-in electric vehicles (PEV), and emerging trends. Some anecdotes about TOU rates offered perspective on incorporating prices into a forecast model.
  • Modeling Issues. Finally, we were all reminded of the importance of getting creative when it comes to building robust forecast models. Attendees demonstrated the value of identifying additional explanatory variables such as solar irradiance, and the challenges of moving from system level forecasts to point-of-delivery forecasts. The consequences of inaccurate weather forecasts and irregular weather events were also a high point.

It’s amazing what happens when you get some of the most brilliant minds in the industry in one room.  I’m already looking forward to next year.