In a new weekly update pv magazine, the DNV company Solcast presents the solar radiation power data it collected from Italy in May. These data show that during Storm Minerva, solar electricity production in Italy and the TransnetBW ISO area in southern Germany decreased significantly from the previous days. In contrast, wind power trended high due to the powerful and widespread nature of the system.
Spring brings with it factors that can cause these events. Increased solar radiation power heats the ocean and land mass, creating a boundary layer for warm air. But the cold air masses of winter have not yet fully retreated north, and if weather patterns push these air masses together, they will mix violently, and a low pressure system like Minerva may result.
On Tuesday, May 16, Minerva was focused on Italy. Solcast tracked the system’s clouds to monitor and forecast solar production in real time, and the rotation of the low pressure system is clear shown in these Solcast GHI maps. Daily total irradiance values were low especially in northern Italy and on the west coast.
Thus, the production of solar electricity in Italy and in the TransnetBW ISO area in southern Germany was significantly depressed from the previous days. In contrast, wind power trend high, due to strong and widespread nature of the system.
Solcast produces these numbers through the radiative forcing forecast and weather API by tracking clouds and aerosols with an accuracy of 1-2 km globally using satellite data and proprietary AI/ML algorithms. This information is used to control irradiance models, which allows 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.