PV Fleet Performance Data Initiative

The U.S. Department of Energy and NREL created the PV Fleet Performance Data Initiative to collect photovoltaic (PV) plant operation data in a secure, central database.

Although many studies have examined field degradation rates of PV modules, little is known about degradation rates and performance across the entire U.S. solar fleet. Pooling data from many large PV installations will create a benchmark of cumulative performance and degradation rates for the U.S. solar fleet.

In exchange for contributing data to the project, participants will receive a confidential, customized performance analysis performed by NREL using RdTools, a software tool for the analysis of photovoltaic time-series data. Data will be protected by confidentiality agreements and anonymized for public sharing.

Who Can Participate?

The initiative is interested in receiving data from medium and large (>250 kW) PV installations, collected over at least 3 years, with performance data recorded at least every 15 minutes, together with on-site plane-of-array irradiance, meteorological data, and system specifications.

In the first phase of the project, NREL would like to hear from interested organizations to assess their data and ability to participate. Once participants have been selected and agreements put in place, full data collection and analysis will begin.

In addition to the confidential analysis each participant will receive, the collected data will give the broader community an aggregate benchmark for the performance of the solar fleet in the United States.

Read more about the PV Fleet Performance Data Initiative on the DOE website. 


PV Fleet Performance Data Initiative: March 2020 Methodology Report, NREL Technical Report (2020)

PV Fleet Performance Data Initiative: Performance Index-Based Analysis, NREL Technical Report (2021)


For more information or to discuss participation in the initiative, contact pvfleetdata@nrel.gov.