Real-Time Regional PV Spinning Reserve Estimator with AGC Look-Ahead Windows: Preprint

Mengmeng Cai, Govind Saraswat, Vahan Gevorgian

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Curtailed PV generation is a zero-marginal cost spinning reserve that can be used for a number of active power control services. However, unlike the traditional spinning reserve providers, i.e., fossil-fueled generators, who have well-defined operating characteristics, e.g., available headroom or potential high limit (PHL), PV plants have by nature variable and uncertain operating characteristics. To ensure the effective coordination between PV plants and the system operator during an active power control event, accurate forecasts of the PV PHL are essential. A novel reference-control grouping based scaling method has been proposed by NREL to estimate the PV PHL in real-time. This work further enhances the methodology by: 1) improving the model accuracy through machine learning; 2) considering look-ahead windows introduced by the computation and communication latencies; 3) applying the method to regional spinning reserve estimation. A significant performance improvement, over 1.6% of estimation error reduction, has been observed based on real-world data collected by CAISO and PV plant operators.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2023
Event50th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference - San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: 11 Jun 202316 Jun 2023


Conference50th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
CitySan Juan, Puerto Rico

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5400-88820 for paper as published in proceedings

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-85148


  • potential high limit
  • PV
  • reliability services
  • spinning reserves


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