In a new weekly update pv magazine, the DNV company Solcast presents the solar radiation power data it collected from North America in April. These data show that positive deviations from normal April irradiance benefited solar producers from California, Baja California, and Sonora through mainland Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maine.
Positive deviations from normal April irradiance benefited California, Baja California and California solar producers Sonora straight across the continent to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maine. The anomaly reached as high 25% above normal in the Midwest, with radiation 5-10% above normal in larger areas.
In contrast, most of Canada experienced lower than normal radiation during April due to cloud cover, low pressure systems from the Pacific Ocean through Canada to Newfoundland. This north trend The low pressure systems were partly due to the “blocking” effect of the high pressure systems off the coast of California, steering low pressure systems further north. As a result, this Canada-wide region, which also extended over some northern parts of the United States, radiation was reduced by as much as 30 percent April normal through northern parts of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.
The Gulf Coast region was a secondary focus of low pressure systems that produced moist ocean trade winds increase cloudiness especially in the second week of April. As a result, the irradiation was 10-15% below normal April levels from Florida through Louisiana and south Texas Coahuila, Mexico
The western and southwestern regions still exceeded April’s total radiation amounts
Despite these regional departures from April normals, drier and sunnier west and southwest the areas were still at the top of the list of total radiation received during April. These areas are both further away in the south and drier conditions typically experience the highest average daily sunshine for longer less cloudy days.
Solcast produces these figures by tracking clouds and aerosols with an accuracy of 1-2 kilometers worldwide satellite data and proprietary AI/ML algorithms. This information is used to control the irradiance models, which makes it possible Solcast calculates irradiance with high resolution, typical error less than 2%, and also cloud tracking predictions. This data is used by more than 300 companies that manage more than 150 GW of solar energy worldwide.