Wind and Solar Power Forecasting Innovation

  • Natural Power sponsor PhD in Power Forecasting

Leading renewable energy and infrastructure consultancy, Natural Power, is to collaborate with the University of Strathclyde and The Data Lab to jointly sponsor Rosemary Tawn for a PhD in Short-Term Wind and Solar Power Forecasting.

The three and half year PhD will focus on improving power forecasting for renewable energy assets, and it is anticipated that work on upgrading Natural Power’s forecasting system will begin in 2019.

Callum McLean, Head of Innovation and Data at Natural Power said: “Forecasting is a key service for our ControlCentre clients who are connected to the National Grid transmission network. As the amount of electricity generated by renewable technology increases, we want to ensure that our clients have the highest level of forecasting accuracy at their fingertips to enable them to optimise generation and lower costs through the use of data.”

Improved energy forecasting methods will also ensure Natural Power can optimise maintenance scheduling.

The collaboration, which was facilitated by The Data Lab, will see Rosemary based at Natural Power’s Stirling office where she will work closely with the software team and Senior Asset Performance Engineer, Dr Iain Dinwoodie, who will act as her industrial supervisor.

Rosemary said: “I’m excited to build on ideas from current research to produce a close to real-time power forecasting model suitable for use in industry through Natural Power, ultimately aiming to improve operation of wind farms and help balance electricity supply and demand in the UK.”

Dr Jethro Browell, Research Fellow, Electronic and Electrical Engineering at University of Strathclyde, who recently won the Wind Power Forecasting Competition at the European Energy Markets Conference, is Rosemary’s supervisor. He said: “Forecasting is increasingly important as our energy system becomes more diverse and weather dependent, as is innovation in the way forecasts are used by the energy industry. Accurate forecasts are essential to keep costs down for both generators and consumers. Working with Natural Power provides a direct link between cutting-edge research and industry, reducing the time between scientific discovery and societal benefit.”