PVNet: A LRCN Architecture for Spatio-Temporal Photovoltaic Power Forecasting from Numerical Weather Prediction (Deployed Track)

Johan Mathe (Frog Labs)

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Abstract

Photovoltaic (PV) power generation has emerged as one of the leading renewable energy sources. Yet, its production is characterized by high uncertainty, being dependent on weather conditions like solar irradiance and temperature. Predicting PV production, even in the 24-hour forecast, remains a challenge and leads energy providers to left idling - often carbon-emitting - plants. In this paper, we introduce a Long-Term Recurrent Convolutional Network using Numerical Weather Predictions (NWP) to predict, in turn, PV production in the 24-hour and 48-hour forecast horizons. This network architecture fully leverages both temporal and spatial weather data, sampled over the whole geographical area of interest. We train our model on a prediction dataset from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to predict spatially aggregated PV production in Germany. We compare its performance to the persistence model and state-of-the-art methods.