Steadysun at the 7th International Conference Energy and Meteorology

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Events

31/08/2023

by

Guillaume Tremoy and Damien Raynaud

10 min

Advancing climate-resilient energy systems

Participating in ICEM conference: A glimpse into our work

As a leading solar and wind energy forecasting provider, we proudly participated in the 7th International Conference Energy and Meteorology (ICEM), held on June 27-29, 2023 near Padua, Italy. The central theme of this year's conference was "Advancing Climate-Resilient Energy Systems." The event, attended by over 150 participants, included three immersive days of plenary sessions, parallel discussions, poster presentations, workshops, and networking opportunities, all within a relaxed yet intellectually stimulating atmosphere. The Steadysun delegation, including Guillaume TREMOY, Damien RAYNAUD, and Léo CLAUZEL (PhD student at IGE), provided a comprehensive overview of two ongoing activities to enhance the integration of renewable energy into power systems: 1) assessing and forecasting solar energy in insular regions, through the Tahiti case study and 2) the transdisciplinary NETWAT project, exploring the role of mineral dust in the West African Climate-Water-Energy Nexus.

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Empowering energy planning and operations in insular regions: The Tahiti case study

Like many islands, Tahiti (French Polynesia), is heavily dependent on hydrocarbon imports. To decarbonize the electricity generation and reduce the Polynesians' energy bill exposure to the volatility of global hydrocarbon prices, the country’s energy transition strategy strives to increase the share of renewable energy (RE) – encompassing hydroelectricity and solar power – in its production mix from 37% in 2020 to 75% in 2030. However, due to its variability, integrating solar photovoltaic (PV) into a non-interconnected grid, poses significant challenges in maintaining power system stability while optimizing the profitability of solar assets and storage systems, from development to operation.

During the poster sessions, Guillaume presented an overview of our array of services in the region. Over the past six years, we have been actively collaborating with the local grid operator (EDT Engie) as well as with several developers of hybrid power plants (PV+storage projects) to facilitate the integration of solar PV. Our approach leverages Physics-AI modeling, utilizing diverse input data such as global and regional numerical weather prediction model (NWP) outputs, satellite imagery, data from a network of 8 all-sky imagers across the island, and production measurements from various plants. The result is a tailored solution furnishing 12 hours and 10 minutes ahead forecast data for total solar PV generation. This solution bolsters daily energy dispatch operations and spinning reserve management. Furthermore, our efforts extend to optimizing project profitability at various stages of development. We have conducted thorough studies, evaluating the spatio-temporal variability of solar resources on the island, sizing storage systems according to local grid codes, and accurately assessing the energy yield of PV+storage systems using historical and forecast data.

Subsequently, during the parallel session on Energy Operations and Maintenance, Damien gave an insightful presentation on Day 2. He delved into our cutting-edge intraday forecasting solution, and explained its current capabilities and limitations. As part of the MoNuTeR project , a dedicated 1km-WRF model has been carefully configured and calibrated to simulate cloud cover and solar radiation in the best possible way, both of which are strongly influenced by intricate local atmospheric phenomena (e.g. convective systems). The blending of this dedicated simulation with other classical NWP outputs, leads to a high performance forecasting solution for Tahiti. The confidence in the forecast is quantified through a P20-P80 uncertainty interval as well as a custom binary confidence indicator, which draws attention to the risk of significantly higher/lower PV production in specific timeframes. This indicator captures uncertainty stemming from the location/timing of convective systems by comparing local predictions with predicted meteorological conditions around the island. A live correction mechanism, leveraging real time PV measurements, further refines the forecast up to 4 hours ahead.

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Steadysun at the 7th International Conference Energy and Meteorology

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Unveiling the significance of West african Mineral Dust in the Climate-Water-Energy Nexus

Solar energy's prominence in Africa, in line with the Paris Agreement, brings a particular challenge: the vulnerability tied to supply insecurity due to the massive deployment of variable renewable energy sources. In this context, a sustainable energy transition goes beyond mere infrastructure or installed capacity; it requires empowering the entire energy value chain, from decision-makers to beneficiaries, to optimize energy planning and infrastructure management.

In the Environmental Impacts of Energy Systems poster sessions, Guillaume offered a comprehensive overview of the four-year NETWAT project. The main objectives of the project include refining our understanding of the West African dust cycle, enhancing the accuracy of solar forecasts in hot semi-arid regions on intraday and day-ahead scales, and assessing the water footprint of solar farms while developing sustainable maintenance strategies. The poster, presented by Sandrine ANQUETIN from IGE, provided insights into the project's structure, featuring pilot sites, observation networks, and forecasting tools. Our consortium reflects the multidisciplinary nature of this project and the originality of its approach by including various research laboratories, private players and local stakeholders.
On Day 3, during the parallel session on Energy Operations & Maintenance, Léo Clauzel from IGE took the stage to share his recent PhD findings. His presentation focused on the relationship between West African solar forecast errors and meteorological conditions, illustrated by a case study of the Zagtouli solar farm in Burkina Faso. Léo emphasized the importance of combining diverse meteorological models to enhance forecast accuracy, especially during the wet season. He highlighted that while clouds contribute to critical errors, the co-occurrence of high aerosols concentration in the atmosphere also affects the forecast outcomes.

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Connecting the dots: ICEM, existing resources and ongoing collaboration

ICEM evolved into a dynamic hub of insightful presentations and discussions, led by experts. The conference covered diverse topics, including the value of weather and solar forecasting for end-users, the challenges posed by the impact of mineral dust on solar generation and water resources, and the growing role of Machine Learning in fostering resilient energy systems.

The insights and exchanges we gained at ICEM will support our ongoing efforts to improve our services and address the challenges encountered by power systems. We thank the World Energy & Meteorology Council (WEMC) for organizing this event.

For those who wish to delve into details, the slides and posters from ICEM 2023 are readily accessible here. We also invite you to explore our webinars and case studies.

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