Recent Trends in Variable Generation Forecasting and Its Value to the Power System

Brian Hodge, Kirsten Orwig, Mark Ahlstrom, Venkat Banunarayanan, Justin Sharp, James Wilczak, Jeffrey Freedman, Sue Haupt, Joel Cline, Obadiah Bartholomy, Hendrik Hamann, Catherine Finley, Dora Nakafuji, Jack Peterson, David Maggio, Melinda Marquis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus Citations


The rapid deployment of wind and solar energy generation systems has resulted in a need to better understand, predict, and manage variable generation. The uncertainty around wind and solar power forecasts is still viewed by the power industry as being quite high, and many barriers to forecast adoption by power system operators still remain. In response, the U.S. Department of Energy has sponsored, in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, public, private, and academic organizations, two projects to advance wind and solar power forecasts. Additionally, several utilities and grid operators have recognized the value of adopting variable generation forecasting and have taken great strides to enhance their usage of forecasting. In parallel, power system markets and operations are evolving to integrate greater amounts of variable generation. This paper will discuss the recent trends in wind and solar power forecasting technologies in the U.S., the role of forecasting in an evolving power system framework, and the benefits to intended forecast users.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number6996049
Pages (from-to)924-933
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5D00-63007


  • Forecasting
  • large-scale integration
  • market design
  • power-system reliability
  • renewable energy
  • solar energy
  • variable generation
  • wind energy


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