When a lot rides on a forecast-based decision, get a second opinion

To better plan schedules and maintenance, most grid operators and those concerned with power production often depend on a single power forecast. A variety of companies offer the service. The wrong decision could involve penalties and imbalances or lost trading revenue.  When such a forecast looks suspect or a lot is riding on the decision of the grid manager or energy trader, it’s good to have a second opinion to minimize uncertainty.
Meteorologists and engineers with DNV GL have a solution in Forecaster NOW, a recently devised delivery portal of the firm’s wind and solar power forecasting system,   that can quickly provide the second opinion. DNV GL’s Craig Collier, Section Head of Forecasting for the Americas, provided a demo of the system at  AWEA’s recent Windpower 2017 trade show.

“The decision maker would go to our site, pick the market they are interested in, which could be a particular wind farm or region, and purchase a forecast for it,” said Collier. “They would provide contact information and a credit card, and get the forecast within five minutes. It’s a relatively small price to reduce the uncertainty in important decisions.”

The accompanying image is one way to receive the forecast. “There are others. We understand there is a lot on the line financially and reliability wise,” said Collier.

A typical Forecaster NOW output provides a percent of capacity versus time. The vertical line marks the time the forecast was issued. Plots to the left show forecast and actual conditions. On the right, the blue band illustrates the uncertainty in the forecast. Forecaster NOW provides users with on-demand forecasts of select power markets with an hourly resolution to seven days.

When a lot does ride on a decision, the user should have an appetite for more than one opinion. “Forecast NOW is noninvasive. It’s not trying to go into your system and plant another forecast or mess with your schedule. It’s just a way to give the operator or trader a second opinion, and confidence that the decision made is a good one.”

“Knowing when and how much generation will come from variable sources such as wind and solar with increased flexibility is crucial for operators, utilities, and ISOs in maintaining reliability, enabling increased penetration, and achieving a low-cost system.”

Forecaster NOW is available in the U.S. and Canada, with European and global rollouts to follow.

             Additional information from Forecaster NOW is presented in a graphical and tabular form.

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