Bayesian Structural Time Series for Behind-the-Meter Photovoltaic Disaggregation: Preprint

Peter Shaffery, Rui Yang, Yingchen Zhang

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Distributed photovoltaic (PV) generation often occurs ``behind the meter": a grid operator can only observe the net load, which is the sum of the gross load and distributed PV generation. This lack of observability poses a challenge to system operation at both bulk level and distribution level. The lack of real-time or near-future disaggregated estimates of gross load and PV generation will lead to over scheduling of energy production and regulation reserves, reliability constraints violations, wear and tear of controller devices, and potentially cascading failures of a system. In this paper we propose the use of a Bayesian Structural Time Series (BSTS) model with local solar irradiance measurements to disaggregate the summed PV generation and gross load signals at a downstream measurement site. BSTSs are a highly expressive model class that blends classic time series models with the powerful Bayesian state space estimation framework. Disaggregation is done probabilistically, which automatically quantifies the uncertainties of the estimated PV generation and gross load consumption. Depending on the data availability in real-time, it can be used to disaggragate PV and gross load at customer site, or can be used at the feeder level. In this paper, we focus on solving the problem at feeder level. We compare the performance of a BSTS model as well as a handful of state-of-the-art methods on a Pecan Street AMI dataset, using the National Solar Radiation Database (NSRDB) to estimate local irradiance.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2020
Event2020 IEEE Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (IEEE ISGT) - Washington, D.C.
Duration: 17 Feb 202020 Feb 2020


Conference2020 IEEE Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (IEEE ISGT)
CityWashington, D.C.

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5D00-77636 for paper as published in IEEE proceedings

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-76401


  • Bayesian structural time series
  • behind-the-meter PV
  • disaggregation


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