Solar Resource Assessment Workshop
October 29 - 30, 2008

About the Workshop
On October 29-30, NREL hosted a Solar Resource Workshop in Denver to present the current state-of-the-art in resource modeling to Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) developers and other stakeholders. Accurate assessment of solar irradiance is essential for siting solar power plants and rapid data collection and analysis are key to calculating and forecasting system performance.

The scope of the program's resource assessment activities include onsite solar monitoring, solar resource estimates derived from satellite information, solar resource forecasting, and prediction of long-term solar variability. A key focus of this work is to establish the uncertainty bounds of these data and products. The objectives of the meeting were to help resource assessment staff better understand industry needs for solar data, present and explain the scope and limitations of current data sets and tools, present FY09 plans for resource assessment R&D, and obtain industry feedback on the value of these plans and suggestions where changes and modifications should be made.

The Workshop was attended by over 60 interested stakeholders. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive with the following items noted as industry priorities:

  • produce documents such as a "Resource Assessment Handbook" and "Best Practices for Collection and Use of Solar Resource Data" to provide guidance to the industry and establish accepted evaluation protocols that can be used with financial sources,
  • establish a web-based publications clearinghouse for easy access to CSP-relevant solar resource documents,
  • continue plans to expand ground data network via the SOLRMAP project,
  • continue development of the Solar Power Prospector as an easy-to-use solar resource tool,
  • continue to improve satellite-based resource modeling and forecasting tools.

NREL is currently assessing how to best integrate these goals into the current budget and R&D plan.

Presentations from the Workshop

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