UK plots AI-powered tracker to boost solar power
National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has signed a deal with non-profit Open Climate Fix (OCF) to create an AI-powered tracking system that matches cloud movements with the exact locations of solar panels.
ESO said that the software, which is to be used in the national control room, will help forecast cloud movements in minutes and hours instead of days.
The artificial intelligence software aims to better predict when cloud movements will affect solar power generation.
A spokesperson for National Grid stated that the “nowcasting” technology aims to improve solar forecasting accuracy by up to 50%. This increased certainty will cause there to be fewer carbon-emitting generators held in reserve.
Carolina Tortora at National Grid ESO said: “Accurate forecasts for weather-dependent generation like solar and wind are vital for us in operating a low carbon electricity system.”
“We plan to adapt the amazing work done by global machine learning community to solar electricity forecasting. All our work will be open-source, so others will be free to use the technology to help reduce emissions globally as rapidly as possible,” added OCF’s Jack Kelly.
The project commenced in August and is planned to last 18 months. It is being funded by UK energy regulator Ofgem with £500,00.
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