Research

Gain insight into the state-of-the-art analytic methods developed by Clean Power Research to evaluate the energy, economic and environmental impacts of clean energy technologies.

The Research Group at Clean Power Research has pioneered the science of renewable energy economics, developing innovative approaches to quantifying the impacts of implementing solar and other renewable energy and efficiency technologies.

These methodologies are used by consumers, utilities, ISOs, state energy agencies and others in the energy industry to make informed decisions about all facets of renewable energy, including:

  • Evaluating the economic and environmental benefits of installing a system.
  • Designing an incentive program.
  • Effectively operating distributed energy systems within an electric power grid.
  • Clean Power Research papers have been published in the areas of energy valuation, solar prediction and program optimization.
Clean Power Research pioneered many of the methods currently used to quantify the value of distributed PV generation from the perspective of utilities and PV system owners. The company’s energy valuation research examines a range of topics such as the value of solar power generation in the U.S., capturing capacity-related benefits of variable energy resources, and the use of distributed generation to reduce transmission and distribution costs.

This presentation demonstrates the effectiveness of an integrated approach to electrification of existing and new residential homes. Download Presentation >>>

This report presents the results of a distributed-solar valuation performed for the island of Guam. The study used solar PV performance data and planning data from the Guam Power Authority (GPA). The study revealed that solar production was shown to be generally...

As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, the Montana Energy Office (MEO) of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) received a partnership award to assess options for solar-generated energy in the state. This report provides a...

 Product will benefit utilities of all sizes Sacramento, Calif., Jan. 17, 2018—Clean Power Research® and SMUD today announced the launch of WattPlan® Grid, a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that will deliver on-demand adoption forecasts for distributed...

This article evaluates the accuracy of solar forecast models, including SolarAnywhere®, as a function of geographic footprint ranging from a single point, to regions spanning several hundred kilometers. The forecast time horizons range from one-hour ahead, to two-days...

Online software has already provided 10,000 residential customers with instant, personalized estimates to determine optimal energy solutions, electric rates Kirkland, Wash., Dec. 2, 2015—Clean Power Research® (www.cleanpower.com) today announced new WattPlan® features...

In support of the Maine Public Utilities Commission's work in 2014-15 to determine the value of distributed solar energy generation in the state, evaluate implementation options, and report to the Legislature, Clean Power Research, Dr. Richard Perez, and others...

Clean Power Research was engaged by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) to develop a methodology that could be used to value solar energy coupled with battery storage. The valuation of solar + storage methodology described in the report can be applied...

Early adopters are cost-effectively engaging customers about solar options with WattPlan®’s interactive, online experience Kirkland, Wash., June 17, 2015—Clean Power Research® (www.cleanpower.com) today launched WattPlan®, an online software application that enables...

New software, funded by a SunShot Incubator award, takes solar interconnection online to streamline application processes, shorten time to interconnection and reduce costs Kirkland, Wash., Oct. 15, 2014—Clean Power Research® (www.cleanpower.com) today launched...

The Value of Solar methodology developed on behalf of the Minnesota Department of Commerce, and approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in March, 2014 as the statewide formula for calculating the value of customer-generated solar power. Download PDF...

This report and presentation summarizes a Value of Solar® study conducted for Austin Energy in the fall of 2013. Austin Energy’s objective was to calculate the long-term value of solar to Austin Energy, and use the information to develop a value of solar tariff for...

New software services will help utilities cost-effectively manage interconnection, better engage solar customers, and forecast PV fleet production for grid integration Chicago, Solar Power International, Booth 3216, October 15th, 2014  – Clean Power Research®...

This Value of Solar® study was prepared for Solar San Antonio under a Department of Energy SunShot Initiative grant. Download PDF >>>

This Value of Solar® study was prepared for the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association (MSEIA) and the Pennsylvania Solar Energy Industries Association (PASEIA) in November 2012. Download PDF >>>

This article identifies the combined value that solar electric power plants deliver to utilities’ rate payers and society’s tax payers, using the greater New York City area as a case study. Download PDF >>>

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This presentation describes the importance of PV output variability as a factor in calculating the value of a fleet of PV systems. The research was presented at Solar Power International in October, 2010. Download PDF >>>

Calculating the cost of energy storage to provide firm capacity on a power grid with high PV penetration. Download PDF >>>

The steps required to compute the costs and benefits of electric rates that use net energy metering. Download PDF >>>

A consumer’s view of the fuel saving benefits of Solar Sustained Vehicles. Download PDF >>>

Quantifies the comprehensive value of distributed PV to Austin Energy. Download PDF >>>

Enhancing the load management and outage protection attributes of PV to increase the value of customer-sited PV Download PDF >>>

Examination of the value of PV to residential customers under Time-of-Use rates. Download PDF >>>

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Should consumers invest in PV now, or wait? Download PDF >>>

Calculating the value of solar load control for commercial applications using Clean Power Estimator. Download PDF >>>

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Examines how PV combined with energy efficiency and cogeneration fuel cells can satisfy the energy needs of the U.S. residential sector Download PDF >>>

This article provides an evaluation of the economic potential of a micro-grid composed of PV, fuel cells and energy efficiency investments for a set of residential customers. Download PDF >>>

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Identifies the renewable energy technology risks to utilities, and how to mitigate those risks Download PDF >>>

Explains how owning renewable energy technologies can mitigate risk faced by the electric utility industry Download PDF >>>

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As incentive programs for renewable energy systems have proliferated, utilities and energy agencies have relied on Clean Power Research to quantify the value PV and design incentive programs that meet energy, economic and environmental goals. Research on program optimization provides guidelines on PV incentive design and the role of incentives in transforming markets.

New Software Will Reduce Time and Costs of Going Solar and Improve Customer Satisfaction SAN FRANCISCO – November 16, 2015 – Sunrun (NASDAQ:RUN) and Clean Power Research® today announced they have been awarded $900,000 by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot...

With PowerClerk, utility processing times have been reduced by as much as 63%, and median time to submit applications is 17 minutes Kirkland, Wash., Sept. 29, 2015—Clean Power Research (www.cleanpower.com) today announced that in the past five months, PowerClerk®...

Award recognizes value of new, scalable software that enables utilities to streamline their interconnection processes and reduce soft costs Las Vegas, Solar Power International, Booth 118, October 21, 2014—Clean Power Research® (www.cleanpower.com) today received the...

New software, funded by a SunShot Incubator award, takes solar interconnection online to streamline application processes, shorten time to interconnection and reduce costs Kirkland, Wash., Oct. 15, 2014—Clean Power Research® (www.cleanpower.com) today launched...

New software services will help utilities cost-effectively manage interconnection, better engage solar customers, and forecast PV fleet production for grid integration Chicago, Solar Power International, Booth 3216, October 15th, 2014  – Clean Power Research®...

This handbook will help agencies and utilities select, design, and implement incentive programs that best meet programmatic goals. Download PDF >>>

Real-life example of the economics of implementing a PV incentive program Download PDF >>>

Rationale for using an up-front incentive payment structure Download PDF >>>

Compares the economic consequences of performance-based and buy-down PV incentives Download PDF >>>

Developers, utilities and independent system operators depend on accurate time-series solar irradiance data for project siting, planning and operations. Groundbreaking solar prediction research quantifies the accuracy of PV output modeling, solar irradiance data and irradiance forecasting, as well as describing methods for modeling high-speed PV output variability.

In years recent to 2020, low solar-resource in the Eastern U.S. was observed in the SolarAnywhere® dataset. This paper investigates 20-year trends in GHI and clear-sky GHI for every latitude/longitude pair in the continental United States. The paper also includes...

In this presentation, you'll learn about which type of solar irradiance data—typical year, ground or satellite—is appropriate for each stage of solar project development. The presentation then discusses the value of combining satellite and ground and data for...

Solar PV system specifications are critical to accurately modeling PV system production (along with high-quality weather data and PV production models), but are not always readily available. This paper describes how it's possible to infer system specifications and...

This report, prepared with an Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) fund, describes new methods for improving production forecasts of behind-the-meter and grid-connected PV systems by incorporating real-world effects of PV module age and soiling. The report also...

This report, prepared with an Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) fund, describes the results of research to determine whether real-time data could be used to supplement forecasts generated using PV system hardware specifications and forecasted...

This presentation discusses how probabilistic forecasting enables electric utilities and grid operators to reduce their operational costs by risk adjusting expected solar production. This presentation was given at the 2018 EPIC Symposium on February 7, 2018. Download...

This presentation demonstrates how a new approach to PV fleet forecasting can address the problem of artificially high fleet variability when plants share the same solar resource data. The presentation was given at the ESIG 2018 Forecasting Workshop, June 19-21, 2018,...

This paper provides the results of using an alternative method to calculate annual insolation probability of exceedance statistics (PXX), which are critical measurements for assessing long-term energy yield and valuation of PV systems. This method aggregates...

June 12, 2017 Solar Magazine US Solar, Power Grid Players Prepare for Landmark Total Solar Eclipse

June 9, 2017 Solar Magazine Solar Forecasting-Asset Managers Release New Analytics in Bid to Goose Customers’ Solar Energy Performance, Returns

This article calculates day-head forecast variability as function of historical clearness index based on intraday irradiance variability. In this paper we address the use of satellite data as a proxy for ground data to determine the clearness index of a day, and...

This paper summarizes and analyzes recent research by the authors and others to understand, characterize, and model solar resource variability. This research shows that understanding solar energy variability requires a definition of the temporal and spatial context...

Although the uncertainty of satellite data such as SolarAnywhere® Data has been shown to be low, it can be challenging to determine the uncertainty of satellite data that has been corrected using ground data. This paper explores the limitations of traditional...

This paper quantifies the residual errors in plane of array irradiance (POAI) at locations where ground-measured GHI and POAI instruments are installed. Reductions in error to the modeled PAOI are observed when using satellite derived GHI that has been tuned with...

This article evaluates the accuracy of solar forecast models, including SolarAnywhere®, as a function of geographic footprint ranging from a single point, to regions spanning several hundred kilometers. The forecast time horizons range from one-hour ahead, to two-days...

This paper describes a study, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, to evaluate new, state-of-the-art solar irradiance forecasting models, and integrate behind-the-meter PV forecasts into the California Independent System Operator's (ISO) load forecasts. This work...

This paper describes procedures suitable for the optimal combination of ground-based and satellite-based irradiance data to reduce the overall uncertainty of the solar resource assessment. It presents a case study depicting the application of these approaches, and...

This article presents and validates the latest version of the SUNY model for using satellite imagery to calculate irradiance. The new version includes an improved treatment of clear sky, the ingestion of now-casting numerical weather predictions, and a more effective...

This paper summarizes operational improvements to the existing SUNY satellite-to-solar irradiance model used to generate SolarAnywhere® Data. Through incorporation of geostationary satellite infrared (IR) channels, this improved model addresses limitations of previous...

This paper describes procedures suitable for the optimal combination of ground-based and satellite-based irradiance data to reduce the overall uncertainty of the solar resource assessment. A case study depicts the application of these approaches, and illustrates the...

New software, funded by a SunShot Incubator award, takes solar interconnection online to streamline application processes, shorten time to interconnection and reduce costs Kirkland, Wash., Oct. 15, 2014—Clean Power Research® (www.cleanpower.com) today launched...

SolarAnywhere® FleetView™ is generating behind-the-meter PV forecasts in California, enabling utilities and ISOs to better integrate distributed solar. This presentation was given at the Utility Wind Integration Group’s 2014 Forecasting Workshop, held February 26,...

Clean Power Research received a California Solar Initiative (CSI) Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment Program (RD&D) Solicitation 3 grant for a project titled, “Integrating PV into Utility Planning and Operation Tools.” The report and presentation...

The California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (CEC PIER) program awarded Clean Power Research a contract to evaluate satellite-derived irradiance and simulated PV fleet performance accuracy for PV resource management in the CAISO control area....

In April 2010, Clean Power Research received a California Solar Initiative (CSI) Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment Program (RD&D) Solicitation 1 grant for a project titled, “Advanced Modeling and Verification for High Penetration PV.” The project...

Clean Power Research received a California Solar Initiative (CSI) Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment Program (RD&D) Solicitation 3 grant for a project titled, “Integrating PV into Utility Planning and Operation Tools.” This webinar presentation...

New software services will help utilities cost-effectively manage interconnection, better engage solar customers, and forecast PV fleet production for grid integration Chicago, Solar Power International, Booth 3216, October 15th, 2014  – Clean Power Research®...

Lean how SolarAnywhere® FleetView™ is being integrated into CAISO planning and operations tools to provide power output forecasts of the more than 130,000 PV systems within the CAISO territory. Presented at the SEPA Utility Solar Conference, held April 16-17, 2013 in...

Grid-connected PV in the U.S. has grown substantially over the past several years and grid operators are increasingly concerned about its impacts in planning and operations. This paper describes the results of a California Solar Initiative (CSI) and the California...

Lean how SolarAnywhere® FleetView™ is being integrated into CAISO planning and operations tools to provide power output forecasts of the more than 130,000 PV systems within the CAISO territory. The presentation was given at the Utility Wind Integration Group’s...

This presentation describes how SolarAnywhere® FleetView™ is being used to cost-effectively forecast power output of the PV systems within the CAISO territory. The presentation was given at the High Penetration Solar Forum sponsored by the Department of Energy SunShot...

Learn how SolarAnywhere® FleetView™ can be used for behind-the-meter PV fleet forecasting. Presented at the Utility Wind Integration Group (UVIG) Fall Technical Workshop, held Oct. 23-25, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. Download PDF >>>

This paper summarizes the deployment of a 71 station solar monitoring network in Sacramento, Calif., and its use in validating solar forecasts and solar resource variability for high penetrations of solar on the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) grid. The...

Metrics used in assessing irradiance model accuracy such as Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) and Mean Absolute Error (MAE) are precisely defined. Their relative (%) counterpart, however, can be subject to interpretation and may cover a wide range of values for a given...

This article evaluates the ability of three operational satellite models (SolarAnywhere® Standard, Enhanced, and High Resolution) to predict ground-based measured irradiance conditions. Results suggest that the performance of satellite-based monitoring approaches that...

This article presents an experimental evaluation of the combined effective capacity of off-shore wind and PV generation using the city of New York as a test case. Download PDF >>>

This presentation provides the results of a study evaluating the short, medium and long-term accuracy of irradiance data derived from satellite imagery to measured data from CAISO. The research was presented at a Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group (UVIG)...

This paper describes the initial validation of a method of quantifying PV variability by using satellite-derived solar data. The validation was performed using a network of high-speed solar irradiance data loggers in and around Napa, California. Download PDF...

This paper introduces a novel approach to estimating the maximum short‐term output variability that an arbitrary fleet of PV systems places on any considered power grid. A clear understanding of variability will make it possible for utilities and control system...

This paper describes analytical methods and tools to quantify PV fleet output variability that can be used by utility planners and operators to analyze how short-term PV system output changes may affect utility system stability. This paper analyzes the correlation...

This article focuses on station pairs, and investigates the correlation of their short-term variability as a function of their distance. Download PDF >>>

This article presents a set of empirical models capable of extracting metrics quantifying the short‐term variability of solar resources based upon site/time specific satellite‐derived hourly irradiance data. Download PDF >>>

This presentation describes the importance of PV output variability as a factor in calculating the value of a fleet of PV systems. The research was presented at Solar Power International in October, 2010. Download PDF >>>

A chronological listing of more than two decades of Clean Power Research published research.