Impacts of Variability and Uncertainty in Solar Photovoltaic Generation at Multiple Timescales

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The characteristics of variability and uncertainty of PV solar power have been studied extensively. These characteristics can create challenges for system operators who must ensure a balance between generation and demand while obeying power system constraints at the lowest possible cost. A number of studies have looked at the impact of wind power plants, and some recent studies have also includedsolar PV. The simulations that are used in these studies, however, are typically fixed to one time resolution. This makes it difficult to analyze the variability across several timescales. In this study, we use a simulation tool that has the ability to evaluate both the economic and reliability impacts of PV variability and uncertainty at multiple timescales. This information should help systemoperators better prepare for increases of PV on their systems and develop improved mitigation strategies to better integrate PV with enhanced reliability. Another goal of this study is to understand how different mitigation strategies and methods can improve the integration of solar power more reliably and efficiently.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages41
StatePublished - 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5500-58274


  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  • NREL
  • photovoltaic
  • PV
  • reserves
  • solar power
  • variable generation


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