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office

The Wind and Solar Energy Industry is in heavy growth, and we experience an increasing demand and interest in ConWX high-end, weather-data driven services, incl. our state-of-the-art power production forecasts.

If you have several years of experience with technical b2b sales of SaaS or DaaS (Data-as-as-Service) solutions, and if you are adept at understanding and communicating advanced solutions to business customers within the (renewable) energy market, then perhaps you are the one we are looking for at ConWX.

Position:

To be successful in this position, your role and responsibility will be to:

  • Develop, implement, and execute the market strategy
  • Manage sales activities and develop own key accounts
  • Have daily hands-on operation within the renewable energy market
  • Participate in sales shows and customer events
  • Involve in the development of sales and marketing materials
  • Gather feedback from your customers and market intelligence in general, which will be crucial for further product development and the company’s overall approach to the market

As a person:

  • You feel like selling and you’re passionate about showing your customers the benefits of a good product. This is what makes you a compelling and committed partner, both in the eyes of colleagues and you customers
  • You are self-motivated and result-driven with a high energy level
  • You have a natural drive and enjoy creating new opportunities for yourself and for the company
  • You apply a structured and straight-forward approach to complex pursuit and projects
  • You have business drive and acumen
  • You are a team player and demonstrate strong interpersonal and business management skills
  • You have excellent communication skills – both spoken and written

You will work closely with your colleagues in Denmark – especially in Sales, Tech and Marketing. You will refer to the General Manager.

This is a position with a great deal of freedom, where it is crucial that you have a personal drive and get a kick from developing new markets and new customers. You will immediately become an important part of a dynamic company with an informal tone among 17 highly trained colleagues. We are a unit that is committed to working together and making each other better in an industry that we are passionate about.

Education:

You have a higher education with a commercial basis and have gained technical insight, or you have a higher technical education with significant commercial experience.

Experience:

  • 5+ years in sales and market development
  • You master your negotiation skills
  • Ideally with a portfolio of clients in the renewable energy market

Location:

ConWX headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark.

ConWX is a part of Volaris Group, which consists of similar software companies in various industries spread throughout the world. Volaris is owned by Constellation Software Inc., which is listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange. Thus, based locally in Montpellier, you will become part of an international company with activities around the world, and associated possibilities.

About ConWX:

ConWX is a privately owned knowledge-based company located in Copenhagen. Since 2008 we have been contributing to a greener world by enabling integration of renewables in the electricity market.

At ConWX, we are servicing clients all over the world within the renewable energy industry with our energy production and weather forecasts. We are experiencing growth and reaching out to new markets!

ConWX is a great workplace, with cool international colleagues and a flat organization where everyone will be heard.

To apply:

Please send your CV and cover letter to careers@conwx.com In case of any questions to the position, you are also welcome to contact General Manager Jesper Theisen / jesper.thiesen@conwx.com / +4525566056

co2 reduction in oil industry

Wind power as decarbonization means for the oil and gas industry and the related challenges, one of which is the viability of offshore wind in production – findings based on studies and simulations for two decarbonizing projects done by ConWX.

There is no doubt that wind power will be a substantial part of the electrification of the oil and gas industry, however not all wind power produced can be integrated into the power management system for decarbonization. We are still facing a relative high rate of curtailment and usage of gas turbines.

It is important to have a clear picture on the predictability of power forecasts that will be used in the power management system. At ConWX found out that a more conservative forecasting approach, than normal nomination, needs to be applied to provide the oil/gas rig with power on a continuous basis.

ConWX has recently performed back test analysis for two oil electrification projects and we have valuable results from those studies, where historical measurements were used for the simulation of trained historical power forecasts for each individual rig location.

The biggest surprise for our clients is the power fluctuation pattern for offshore wind turbines placed in the North Sea.

In the analysis, we simulate the value and the size of energy storage and its influence on the energy mix, including gas turbine, wind power and the battery.

Any management system needs an uncertainty indicator on the very short term. We present situations where the coming wind power production is too unpredictable to be used for such a management system with the consequence that gas turbines must be running regardless of any wind power production.

Our simulation calculates the saved CO2 emissions in two different electrification scenarios – one with a combined system using wind power, storage and gas turbines and the other using only wind power.

Do you want the details from the analysis? Contact us here.

 

ConWX partners with Pexapark

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK (NOVEMBER 11, 2021) – CONWX, provider of mission-critical power forecasting services, has now partnered with Pexapark, provider of software and advisory services for post-subsidy renewable energy sales.

Amid the economic crisis caused by the novel coronavirus, renewable sources (mainly wind and solar) have seen their share in electricity increase substantially at record levels in many countries. This has indeed accelerated energy transition, deployments, as well as investments across the industry – in fact, a new study has uncovered more than 13,000 “shovel-ready” global renewable energy projects. 

Pexapark using Meteo Data from ConWX

To keep up with the developments and trends in the industry, ConWX has teamed up with Pexapark to make ConWX Portfolio Analyser asset data available through Pexapark price reference platform. By combining these two powerful tools, our users can now not only estimate the potential power production output of their new assets, but also identify the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) prices these projects can achieve. This, as a result, allows fairer pricing for the sale of assets. The partnership also introduces the possibility to further optimise PPA structures based on local weather conditions.

“While supply and demand dynamics mean there is no shortage of capital to be invested into high-quality renewable energy projects and pipelines, there will inevitably be a market response to recent months of unprecedented volatility when it comes to asset valuations,” said Dr. Werner Trabesinger, Head of Quantitative Products, Pexapark.

“To secure fair prices for PPAs, or a fair valuation at the sale, asset developers and owners need certainty that they have fully accounted for the variables that impact long-term performance and profitability – namely the available resource and the market price. We’ve joined forces with ConWX, the leading provider of meteo and wind & PV power production data, to make PexaQuote the market’s most accurate tool for evaluating new assets and optimising potential revenue.”

Pexapark using Meteo Data from ConWX to show pricingEwelina Reszke Hansen, Head of Sales and Business Development, ConWX, added: “Location-specific power output and pricing data are both prerequisites for successful project development and operation in today’s market. As recent events show, resource availability and price dynamics are inextricably linked and cannot be looked at in isolation. Those who can most effectively integrate their essential data will be best placed to mitigate risks and secure accurate valuations for their projects.”

To explain in detail how this partnership would benefit our users, we are hosting a joint webinar “How to accurately value and optimise new renewable asset opportunities in open energy markets”.

You can watch the record of this webinar here.

volaris logo

First Entry into Renewable Energy Vertical

 

Volaris Group today announced the acquisition of ConWX ApS, a provider of mission-critical power forecasting services for global energy providers.

ConWX is headquartered in Copenhagen and provides services for energy and energy trading companies globally. The company has a renewable energy install base of more than 100GW capacity.

“With the acquisition of ConWX, Volaris Group enters the renewable energy sector. ConWX is well-positioned in this important and growing industry and we see an interesting opportunity to expand our footprint,” said Jesper Ulsted, Portfolio Manager at Volaris Group, “Our buy-and-hold-forever philosophy is well-suited for companies looking for stability, long-term growth and and it fits particularly well with the sustainability focus of this new vertical.”

ConWX will continue to operate independently under the leadership of existing management team and founders Jesper Thiesen and Erik Østergaard Madsen.

Commenting on the deal, Jesper Thiesen stated “We were looking for a sustainable long-term partner and Volaris is an excellent fit for both our technology and our talented team.We are excited to be the first company within the renewable energy vertical at Volaris and are looking forward to building out this new vertical together. Our deep industry knowledge, combined with Volaris’ experience acquiring vertical market software businesses, creates a compelling opportunity.”

About ConWX

ConWX is a supplier of a range of advanced weather and energy forecasting services, especially for wind and solar power energy providers. Services are used for trading and nomination of daily energy production as well as project construction phases for offshore and onshore, and Metocean forecasts on routes and sites for the planning, construction, and O&M phase.

The company was founded with a focus on providing weather services for the wind sector and have through the years develop into providing advance power forecasting services, which are critical in a world with increased rate of energy coming from variable renewable energy sources.

In the last 6 years the company have developed into a critical Data-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service provider of high accuracy power forecast used for energy trading on global electricity markets.

About Volaris Group

Volaris acquires, strengthens and grows vertical market technology companies. As an Operating Group of Constellation Software Inc., Volaris is all about strengthening businesses within the markets they compete and enabling them to grow – whether that growth comes through organic measures such as new initiatives and product development, day-to-day business, or through complementary acquisitions. Learn more at www.volarisgroup.com.

resource ppa

Let me start on a personal note – it took me less than a week to have +50 new Linkedin connections and at least 10 meetings booked – ALL thanks to one little buzz word – PPA.

It seems like it’s what everybody wants to speak about in the (renewable) energy market. There seems to be a lot of power in the acronym PPA, that stands for Power Purchase Agreement.

As part of my little experiment, I even added the acronym to the headline in my Linkedin profile. It worked!

What is a PPA?

And how can you limit some of its in-built risks?

Did you know that already back in 2017 Google achieved their 100% green electricity goal, sourcing all their energy (appr. 3GW) through a green corporate PPA?

ppa risk - how to deal with and minimize PPA risk

Now, wouldn’t we all like to be like Google – securing electricity supply to our business and saving the planet at the same time?



A (green/renewable) PPA is a very important agreement that regulates the sale and purchase of power between the renewable energy producer (clean energy producer) and the energy user (clean energy buyer). PPA is crucial to the bankability of the project – basically, if you need funding for your wind or solar project – then you better have one in place.


So, yes! – renewable Power Purchase Agreements help deliver MORE renewable energy to the grid, hence saving thousands of tons of CO2. You and your company CAN make a difference and shape the renewable future signing a PPA with a wind or solar energy generator.

Virtual, physical, corporate, sleeved, off-site, aggregated, long (e.g. 30 years) vs. shorter-term (e.g. 10 years), wind or PV park availability guarantee, curtailment, ‘buyers’ market’, subsidies ….

– all of the above vocabulary is being used to further define the PPA type in question, both from a legal perspective, as well as in terms of the physical conditions that the agreement will be based on.


It is not the goal of this article to discuss each term, but rather to emphasize, that they all have ONE thing in common – the RISK(s).

When drafting a PPA agreement, it is the responsibility of the energy generator to provide your business with as much financial certainty, during your PPA with them, as possible. We have tried to digest all the potential PPA risks into the following 3 questions:

1.     How will the market evolve over the time of my PPA agreement?

2.     How will the energy prices develop?

3.     What about the production/energy output?

– after all we are dealing with entirely weather-dependent energy sources?

Now, we would highly recommend you discussing the market and energy prices (question no. 1 and 2) with relevant experts.


What we’ve decided to focus on what we are best at (tadaam!) and what we’ve been helping the energy sector with for more than 10 years – is the DATA. Hang on for an answer to question no. 3 and learn how we can help you minimize the risks related to weather and hence to the expected production output of any given wind or solar park and portfolio.

The truth is that, at ConWX, we receive numerous requests on a weekly basis from energy companies, energy trading companies and developers, eager to understand the impact a new wind or solar park will have on their existing portfolio.

  • Will the new assets minimize or add to their current balancing risk?
  • What influence will the new wind or solar park have on yearly production variability?
  • Will it contribute to the diversification of the portfolio?

So, we’ve decided to make answers to these questions available online, as part of ConWX’ latest product development – the Portfolio Analyzer.

The Portfolio Analyzer

If you are dealing with multiple PPA analysis and a large variety of wind & solar parks and portfolios – then ConWX Portfolio Analyzer may be the right solution for you.

portfolio analyzer - to analyze ppa risk
ConWX Portfolio Analyzer

 

You can easily simulate hourly productions for the last 20 years – based on high resolution weather hindcast data and empirical power curves for a wide selection of production units.

You can also download all the 20 years of power and weather data in hourly resolution – for the specific location and technical specifications of the park. You can then compare this data to the historical production data that you may have been provided with and hence calculate the MW/imbalance error – crucial in understanding your PPA risks.

Calculations can be carried out on individual assets, as well as on portfolios, and production is given as hourly and average load factors.

example from the analysis
Yearly load production in hourly resolution

 


ConWX Portfolio Analyzer in brief:

  • Perfect tool to assess PPA risks
  • Besides yearly production factors, you can also download 20 years of data in hourly resolution and do a projection for the future
  • Since you really don’t know what happens with the market and energy prices in 5 years – what you CAN minimize is the weather and hence production related risk

Companies like Statkraft and Equinor have been happy users of ConWX Portfolio Analyzer.

If you’ve reached so far, reading this article, do yourself a favor and take 1 more minute of your time to watch this little appetizer video, we’ve made especially for you:

 

Now, if you only have a limited number of PPA’s or other changes to your portfolio during the year, then our ad hoc park and portfolio analysis may be the solution you want to have a closer look at. What we do for energy and energy trading companies, but also PPA Platforms, like e.g. Pexapark, is a reanalysis or backtest, where we set up the new park(s) as if we were to make power forecasts for it.

Just like with ConWX Portfolio Analyzer, you are provided with a data series covering the realised production. This is where we use our historical forecast data. This analysis only gets better if you do have historical production data that we can then use to fine-tune our models and to choose correct weights for your specific park, group of parks or a portfolio. Again, having historical production and our backtest makes it possible to calculate the MW error.

The information that we typically get from our customers, ahead of the backtest/reanalysis is: plant location, capacity, hub height, etc. + historical observations.

RISKS are an inevitable part of the renewable PPA agreements – now and in the future. Equip yourself with tools that will help you minimize risks for you and your customers.

solar production

As solar power technology gets cheaper and cheaper, it also gets more and more affordable, which means that not only private homes, but also large-scale utilities are shifting to solar power. And with the overall state of our mother Earth and our precious climate, the switch from conventional to renewable energy sources, especially solar ones, has accelerated significantly.

Now, it most probably does not come to you as a surprise, that solar power needs sun to do any good. There is in fact a direct linear correlation between the amount of sun rays (radiation) reaching a solar panel and the energy that this very solar panel produces.

Solar radiation is however not the same as temperature, which is why you will find plenty of large-scale solar power parks, as well as consumer-scale house solar panels, in the colder areas on earth, e.g. Northern Europe. As long as the clouds do not stand in the way, your solar panels will keep on producing electricity, even in wintertime – if they’re snow-free. And even with clouds above our heads, solar panels, depending on their type, will still produce approx. 10-25% of their nominal (maximum) power output.

Now, is there anything that affects solar radiation?

Yes, there is! Besides the cloud coverage, solar radiation depends on the time of the day and time of the year (both indicating where the sun is located on the sky, at what angle it hits your solar panel and whether or not anything, such as a building, mountain or tree is casting a shadow on it) – so the more clouds or shadow the more limited solar radiation; early morning and late afternoon hours mean also smaller energy production and finally, the more up north you are the lower the position of the sun during winter months in the northern hemisphere, hence again the more limited energy output.

Add to this sand being blown from dessert areas, like for instance Sahara sand, which, on rare occasions, affects solar energy production in Europe and can decrease the power output with e.g. 10% in Germany.

What about the temperature?

Well, extremely high temperatures, like the ones we’ve seen in e.g.: the state of Minnesota (US) and in many parts of Southern and Central Europe back in July 2019, decrease the efficiency of solar panels and hence also the amount of electrical energy produced. This has to do with the physics of what is going on in a solar panel.

Without going into details, as each solar panel manufacturer may have a slightly different technical specification for their panels, solar panel efficiency, i.e. the percentage of the solar energy that can actually be converted into electricity, decreases with temperature increase. Typical testing temperature for solar modules is 25°C / 77°F.

Bear in mind that it’s the temperature of the panel and not the ambient one. Temperatures higher than this can reduce output efficiency by 10-25%. Now, add this the fact that, when the ambient temperature is for example 25°C, on a sunny day, this can easily mean 40-45°C on the solar panel itself – which is again what matters when we speak about efficiencies.

What does this mean for the future of solar energy? With global temperatures constantly rising – what effect will this have on the development of solar power around the world? Any thoughts?

Will a further, drastic drop in production costs of solar panels counter-balance the potentially lower efficiency, due to higher ambient temperature?

No matter what, the GOOD NEWS is that there are ways to make a fairly precise analysis of historical power production from a given solar panel type in a given geographical location. This analysis will answer the question of what your new solar farm would have produced if it was already in operation in the past.

Equally, a similar analysis of the future power production, that you can expect from the solar panel, is also possible. Both are available at ConWX and both will give you a very good picture of what to expect from your solar farm – during a heat wave, in colder winter months, with blue skies or heavy rain clouds. With access to multiple, high resolution Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models, ConWX data specialists, meteorologists and mathematicians have mastered the understanding of big weather, wind and solar data.

It’s ALL in the data and we can read it!

UK_C_ACC

Who’s not interested in knowing exactly how the weather will be – when you’re planning on seeing your favorite football team play, going for a hike in the woods, booking a beach holiday or trying to teach your kid how to fly a kite.

The same curiosity, combined with the need of risk-mitigation and profit optimization applies for energy traders, renewable energy developers, energy companies and utilities.

In the previous article (part 1) we have already covered the ‘why’, i.e. the reason why good, reliable wind and solar power production forecasts are necessary: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/high-quality-wind-solar-power-production-forecasts-why-ewelina-reszke/

Let’s focus now on the ‘HOW’, i.e. ways of fine-tuning and constantly refining the inputs and the outputs of the wind or solar power energy generation formula.

A typical short-term(*) power production forecasting approach covers the following input information:

  1. Wind or solar farm location
  2. Installed capacity of the farm
  3. Historical data from the farm:
  • production data – at least one year, but preferably as much as available (unless of course the farm is brand new)
  • local weather measurements from a met-mast or a measurement tower (if ever installed)

 (*) Short-term is typically defined as intra-day (today), day-ahead (tomorrow) and up to 7 or sometimes 10 days.

To sum up, we need as much information as possible about the wind or solar FARM itself – as a minimum, a typical forecasting company, like e.g. ConWX, will need to know the installed capacity and the geographical location (latitude and longitude) of the farm.

Next step is adding the weather element to the equation. The de facto industry standard is to use weather data input from a Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) model. Now, each model on the market behaves slightly different – one may be better during summer, one may be better at predicting weather in difficult topography terrains, while yet another one … well, would be completely useless.

For the specific site(s), the same model can be also very good at one location, but at the same time bad at a neighboring location

Weather models come also in different resolutions. The higher the resolution, the smaller the grid cell and the easier it is to get precise weather information about the location of your specific farm.

So, as you can imagine, if you pick the wrong weather model, you will get very inaccurate forecasts. What a good forecasting company then does is that they use multiple NWP models and decide on a relevant mix. What this means is that they are taking the best weather data and the physics of the model and apply it to your farm in a weighted manner – e.g. 40% from the main and most reliable model, 30% from the secondary model and 20% from the 3rd model.

The ranking of the models does not necessarily depend only on absolute accuracy, but also on what they bring to the table, i.e. whether they add new information and hence value to the model mix – there is no benefit in adding more of the same.

An experienced wind and solar power forecasting company will have access to multiple weather models. Typical global NWP models that are in use in the energy market are:

·       The European ECMWF model

·       The American GFS model

·       The UK UKMO model

Some, like ConWX, will also have their own meso scale (i.e. high resolution) models available.

So, data input number 2 is the WEATHER and multiple weather data inputs result in 15-20% more accurate forecasts.

Simple versus High-quality forecasts

This is where average forecasting companies stop their quest.

Only the most experienced ones, with huge customer bases will have enough big data to work on and implement additional ways of improving the very short-term forecasts – typically defined as the intra-hour (within the next hour and up to 6 hours ahead). 

Also, only the most knowledgeable forecasting companies will apply AI and machine learning techniques to constantly learn from the big data and teach their forecasting algorithms.

It’s important to emphasize here that you should only trust a forecasting supplier that can guarantee a ‘Chinese wall’/a sealed no-access border between YOUR data and the data of all their other customers. After all, you wouldn’t like your competitor to benefit from your own data.

Let’s have a look at what other improvements of a short-term forecast can be expected from a forecasting company like ConWX:

(1)  The most common add-on is using real-time production data from the wind or solar park, to further fine-tune the next 6 hours of the intra-day forecast. A typical improvement that you can expect is 30-50% (YES! That much!). These corrections are often referred to as PERSISTENCE. If the client has access to high-frequency production data that they can share with their forecasting provider every 5 or 10 minutes, then an additional improvement of 5-10% can be achieved.

How to imrove short-term wind and solar power production forecasts

 

(2)  What if you could use farms in your own portfolio to detect weather changes that will affect the rest of the portfolio downstream? Depending on how the climatic front moves – i.e. depending on how the wind blows – changes observed in one or a group of farms can be used to further fine-tune the very short-term forecasts on other neighboring farms. If an improvement of 25% on 8% of the worst events is not impressive, then I don’t know what is!

It’s obviously given that all of the farms must belong to the same customer of ours (alternatively a consortium of energy companies) – as mentioned above, at ConWX we would never share data between our customers.

(3) Offshore wind is increasingly gaining momentum in most parts of the world. Finding targeted solutions that can help increase the quality of short-term power production forecasts in the offshore environment is therefore crucial. At ConWX we have been able to reach an improvement of 13% over the first 20 minutes of the intra-day forecasts utilizing readings from 1 to 2 LiDARs, located on the perimeter of a typically large offshore park. LiDARs can, as a matter of fact, be utilized onshore as well. 

Further improvements of short-term power production forecasts

(4) In areas with extremely high concentration of wind energy sources, such as e.g. Germany or the Netherlands – curtailment (or Einsmann in German) is what everybody fears. Curtailment can however be forecasted as well. And by curtailment, we mean here the actions taken by the grid operator to balance the grid by cutting off chosen wind parks. At ConWX we have developed a method that results in 5-8% improvement of the intra-day forecast.

Curtailment forecasting

(5) Yet another important parameter that a good forecasting company will need to take into account is ICING. It comes in different forms and not all the icing can be forecasted based on the data available in the NWP models. Do yourself a favor and help your forecasting company with data input to the following questions:

a.     Are there any real time observations (ice, temperature, humidity)?

b.     Is there heating in the blades and how is it being operated?

c.     What is the response time?

d.     Can heating be started automatically? 

Icing and power forecasting

A very crucial element of a reliable forecasting service is constant PERFORMANCE MONITORING of the quality and accuracy of the forecasts; especially in difficult ramp situations.

The common denominator for all of the above-mentioned possibilities of improving and fine-tuning a short-term wind and solar power production forecast is DATA. You can never go wrong with sharing the data and you can never provide your forecasting company with too much data. As you can probably guess, a close and trust-based cooperation between an energy company (/utility/energy trading company) AND the forecasting company is the CORE of being able to generate highest possible production forecasts.

*** Remark: the part that we anticipate a good forecasting company is taking into account while generating wind and solar power production forecasts is farm availability – meaning the times when the farm is actually available to produce energy and there is no service or maintenance being done; plus various types of shut-downs, such as e.g. shut-downs due to too strong winds to prevent turbine overload and noise, as well as visual and environmental curtailments. ***

__________________________________________________________________

Wind and solar energy sources are entirely dependent on weather. Full stop. Mastering the ability to forecast the weather and hence the energy produced by wind and solar energy sources is the most important task that energy traders, renewable energy developers, energy companies and utilities are facing today. Their raison d’etre, financial results and everyday operational tasks highly rely on accurate power production forecasts.

energy trading

Running any kind of business implies taking calculated chances, reducing risks and managing variabilities. Risk taking is practically built in energy trading of power generated from wind and solar energy sources, incl. those located behind the meter (BTM). Whether you are a renewable energy developer, an energy company with a mix of conventional and renewable assets or a utility, managing what gets on the grid and what gets off the grid – all have a need for the most precise information and the highest quality power production forecasts.

The good news is that it is possible to foresee how big of a risk you may be running with relatively high accuracy.

Before we dig into ways of designing and implementing the perfect wind and solar power production forecasting set-up, let’s take a look at the type of risks coming from wind and solar resources that energy companies and utilities – or any other company directly involved in production, distribution and trading of energy – are facing.

Wind and solar energy production, trading, balancing and overall management is typically connected with one or often multiple set of risks, such as:

  • Large scale production fluctuations – this can cover year to year changes in wind and solar radiation, but also climatic impact and climate changes.
  • Large variation in predictability – highly dependent on where on the globe your farm is located. Is it less complex, rather flat terrain in, incl. offshore in general, or demanding and thermal driven areas?
  • Plant outages (non-scheduled) – cut-offs and grid-operator-forced curtailments
  • Weather related outages (storm, icing, snow and desert sand)
  • Surplus production – when we have been surprised by our forecasts and the actual production has in fact been higher and we now have to deal with surplus energy   

                                                   i.    Higher balancing costs

                                                  ii.    Low or negative prices

  • Similar consequences apply in case of production deficiency
  • Penalties – 90% of costs are distributed over 10% of the time
  • Ramp events – i.e. sudden, unforeseen drops or increases in especially wind power generation – problematic both for those balancing the Bulk Power System or the grid (TSO/ISO/RTO) and those who trade
  • Thermal effects (coastline or mountain area)

Finally, there is also the risk of not knowing and hence not being able to act upon what others are doing on the market/grid.

Now, as we take a closer look at the above list of risk factors, we quickly discover that many of them are weather and weather-and-terrain related. Why is this important? Well, here comes the formula transforming the wind speed into the actual power produced by a wind turbine.

Any motion of wind has an available kinetic energy, which is given by the following equation:

power production forecast

To calculate the actual power a wind turbine produces, we also have to take the power coefficient (Cp) into account, which is the percentage of extracted power of kinetic energy to mechanical energy: Cp = Output/Input = Pturbine/Pwind

Which of the unknowns do you think are the most unpredictable?

– take a wild guess!

Yes! You got it right! – It’s the wind speed or the velocity! Now add to this the wind direction, air stability, all seasoned with machine learning and you come close to predicting the power generation from your wind turbine.

So, taming the weather and minimizing the uncertainty and inaccuracy of weather input to the above formula is the main job of anybody dealing with wind and solar power production forecasts.

Now that we have established the why, let’s continue to the how – how can energy companies ensure high quality and hence high accuracy of power production forecasts for their wind and solar assets in practice? We’ll cover this in Part 2 of this article.

Wind and solar energy sources are entirely dependent on weather. Full stop. Mastering the ability to forecast the weather and hence the energy produced by wind and solar energy sources is the most important task that energy traders, renewable energy developers, energy companies and utilities are facing today. Their raison d’etre, financial results and everyday operational tasks highly rely on accurate power production forecasts.

data cleaning

Data is at the core of our business at ConWX, and we know that the quality of input data is reflected in the accuracy of our forecasts. That is why cleaning data is the first step to ensure we have the best input data for training our models. Data cleaning helps us diagnose issues such as outliers, missing values, and noisy data, which all affect data quality.

Some estimate that data scientists spend 80% of their time cleaning and manipulating data, and less than 20% analysing it. In our experience, the ratio is not that dire, but truth be told, data cleaning is a big part of our work at ConWX.

Taking the amount of time used on cleaning data, we have made a few guidelines on, how to make data cleaning as smooth and easy as possible.

data cleaning

Advice on data cleaning from our data scientists

Use the tool that makes sense. It’s essential to have a wide range of tools available as there is no one-tool-fix-all. Whether it’s Python or Excel, there are pros and cons for each tool for the task at hand. Before deciding on the tool, ask yourself, how fast does it need to be done, can the logical pattern for cleaning the data be easily implemented in the tool, is it a recurring task, what is the tool you are most comfortable with. You will likely end up using different tools for different steps in the cleaning of data.

Correct data if you have enough information. Use all available features to make the most out of the dataset. Say you have a power production time series for a wind park where the maximum production changes over time. If you also have the turbine availability and potential curtailment, you can use that to scale the power to 100% availability, and use the scaled data to train your models.

Less is more. Sometimes you are better off eliminating data that deviates from the standard or simply looks odd. Having said that, be sure not to eliminate too much noise from the data as this might end up mispresenting the true nature of your data.

Communicate with the source. Do not be afraid to contact the source of the data and ask for more information. It can save you from making wrong assumptions or simply discarding good data.

Good luck cleaning your data!