AleaSoft Collaborates with India’s PGCIL to Provide Solar, Wind Power Demand Forecasts

AleaSoft, an energy forecasting solutions company, announced that it has collaborated with the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) as a provider of solar and wind energy forecasting.

The Barcelona-based forecasting company said that April marked the first quarter of its collaboration with India’s central transmission utility (CTU).  The company will provide PGCIL with generation forecasting for wind and power stations in the short term, including hour-ahead, day-ahead, and week-ahead forecasts with several granularities.

It currently obtains forecasts from stations in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh.

Forecasting plays a vital role in maintaining an efficient and stable power grid. Generators need to be able to predict demand and generate power accordingly based on weather forecasts, historical data, and other key factors.

The power generated from renewable sources is intermittent, especially wind and solar energy. This means that power cannot be generated round-the-clock like in the cases of thermal or nuclear sources. Given that wind and solar power contribute to a significant chunk of the country’s power mix, forecasting and scheduling play vital roles in power generation and distribution.

Cumulative solar installations in the country stood at around 35.6 GW at the end of CY 2019, representing 9.6% of the total installed power capacity mix, while wind power installations in the country hit 37.5 GW. This translates to 10.1% of the total installed power capacity.

Earlier, Mercom wrote about how forecasting power demand is difficult when it comes to renewable energy sources, particularly solar and wind-based sources. Because of this, developers are forced to bear the brunt by paying hefty penalties by way of forecast deviation charges. Additionally, they said that the deviation settlement mechanism in India is skewed and difficult because of monsoons.

Accurate forecasting of renewable generation has been a tough task for developers. The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) had established a fee for errors based on a 15-minute time block and charges for deviation payable or receivable to/from regional deviation settlement mechanism (DSM) pools by renewable generators. If the error is more than 15%, then additional charges for deviation will be levied along with the fixed rate. CERC has rescheduled implementing the fifth amendment of deviation settlement regulations from April 1, 2020, to June 1, 2020 due to the outbreak of Coronavirus.

The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) had also released a notice inviting comments and suggestions for a proposed stakeholder meeting to help deal with problems surrounding forecasting and scheduling of renewable energy generation.