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Solar Integration National Dataset Toolkit

The Solar Integration National Dataset (SIND) Toolkit enables researchers to perform regional solar generation integration studies by providing modeled, coherent sub-hour solar power data, information, and tools. Sub-hour solar power data are used in the Western Wind and Solar Integration Study Phase 2 and the Eastern Renewable Generation Integration Study.

Graph of global horizontal irradiance for July 7, 2008. Over the course of the day, irradiance increases and then decreases in the general shape of a bell curve. However, the curve is punctuated by large dips and spikes.

An illustration of how irradiance can change dramatically over only a few minutes. SIND's modeled high-resolution, 1-minute data mimic the variability and correlation of variability between nearby sites.

Variable generation integration studies have evolved from determining if high penetrations of variable generation are possible to evaluating the strategies of operating an electric power system with them. As system topology, operation practices, and power markets evolve, system operators will need to rapidly simulate new conditions. The foundations of effective studies are coherent datasets (for solar, wind, and load, among others) that accurately represent system conditions.

For integration studies, solar power data must:

  • Be time-synchronized to weather conditions during each time step and at each geographic location

  • Have sufficient temporal resolution to capture site-specific solar power output ramps

  • Have appropriate spatial-temporal correlations to capture intra-plant and plant-to-plant ramping correlations

  • Have sufficient geographic resolution to represent the relative solar power injection into the power system at each location.

Sub-hour solar power research leverages NREL's extensive experience in solar power analysis, deployment, and integration. The goals of the SIND Toolkit project are to:

  • Create a new national solar database with higher temporal and spatial resolution

  • Provide public access to this data to reduce the costs and risks of integrating solar power systems into the electric power grid.

For More Information

For more information about the SIND Toolkit, see the following resources:


Marissa Hummon