Category: Utility Scale Generation
A robust and sustainable solar energy industry requires a predictable return on investment, which can only be achieved when solar power plants perform as expected. Continual evaluation and improvement of energy assessment methods are crucial to achieving such goals. Comparisons of pre-construction energy assessments to observed project performance enable DNV GL to validate its energy assessment methods, identify any differences between actual and predicted performance, reconcile any differences, and identify areas for future improvement.
DNV GL is actively monitoring project performance within an internal database of publicly reported production and DNV GL generated pre-construction energy assessments. This database currently spans 125 projects, across 14 states with a total installed capacity of 2.7 GW. DNV GL has analysed the prediction strength of recent energy estimate methodologies on a project-by-project basis (2014 and later) within this dataset. DNV GL is actively working to address project performance gaps between the pre-construction energy assessments and the observed project performance as well as associated downside risks.
DNV GL will describe the current methodology of creating an accurate comparison and address issues such as: incorporating effects of solar interannual variability, data quality limitations, analysis method, meaningful metrics (e.g. Performance Ratio vs. Production Index), and interpretation of results. This discussion will allow the learner to evaluate their own or other studies and comparisons for valuable conclusions.
Renn Darawali– Analyst, Solar Energy Assessments, DNV GL