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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    Solar and Storage Modelling Pty Ltd


    New South Wales
    South Australia

    ARENA Program

    Advancing Renewables Program

  • Start date

    9 January 2019

    End date

    28 December 2020

  • Project Partners
    Wirsol, Oakey 1 Asset Company Pty Ltd, Neoen Australia, Foresight Group, First Solar, EnergyAustralia, Edify Energy, FRV, Dispatch Solutions, CWP Renewables
    This solar project was completed on 28 December 2020.


The Solar Farm Solutions & the Australian Energy Sector project aims to operationalise, deploy and improve self-forecasting technology for up to eight Australian solar farms and to submit dispatch forecasts to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to reduce costs to large-scale solar farms.

How the project works

The Solar Farm Solutions & the Australian Energy Sector project will operationalise, deploy and improve Solcast’s self-forecasting technology, and submit these forecasts to AEMO via project partner, Dispatch Solutions. It will be accomplished through a staged process of testing, trialling and transitioning customers to a commercial service.

The forecasting technology will leverage Solcast’s existing global satellite nowcasting system, set-up live SCADA feeds to the Solcast API, and install low cost sky-imagers onsite to train and test 5-minute ahead forecasting technologies. Once testing and training is complete, the project will operationalise individualised forecast models for each solar farm site, providing these to Dispatch Solutions, who will submit them to AEMO for operational use.

Area of innovation

This will be accomplished through a collaborative endeavour between Solcast (project lead) and partner Dispatch Solutions for the purposes of deploying, testing, improving and live trialling dispatch forecasts. Specifically, the project will:

  • operationalise Solcast’s super-rapid update utility scale solar forecasting technologies
  • deploy these forecasting technologies to eight participating solar farms
  • install low cost sky-imagers at participating solar farms
  • train a site-specific forecast model for each generator
  • make iterative improvements to the solar farm forecasting technologies
  • submit test forecasts to AEMO’s API framework to finalise dataflows and establish confidence in the accuracy and reliability of the forecasting models
  • complete a live dispatch forecasting trial on the NEM for each generator
  • provide +5 minute to +7 day forecasts for the Gannawarra solar farm to the EnergyAustralia trading team to devise new dispatch/charging strategies for the co-located Gannawarra Energy Storage System.

A key outcome will be the removal of several barriers to the widespread adoption of self-forecasting technologies, particularly through efforts to establish transparency around potential reductions in Causer Pays Factors (CPF) for solar farm operators. CPF are costs that solar farm operators/owners incur via forecasting errors that occur in day to day operations of these facilities.


This project could benefit solar farm owners and operators by reducing the costs of operating large scale solar farms in the National Electricity Market (NEM). This will be achieved through a substantial reduction in the CPF that solar farm operators incur through the current AEMO provided Australian Solar Energy Forecasting System (ASEFS). Cost-savings of more than 20 per cent are projected, which could increase the cost competitiveness of large-scale solar farms operating in the NEM.

Read more

 Solcast website

Last updated 29 October 2021


Wind and solar forecasting trial looks into the future

A trial of forecasting technology has been launched to help predict the future output from wind and solar farms, which varies depending on the weather and time of day.

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