Intra-day solar power forecasting strategy for managing virtual power plants

Guillermo Moreno, Carlos Santos, Pedro Martín, Francisco Javier Rodríguez*, Rafael Peña, Branislav Vuksanovic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Solar energy penetration has been on the rise worldwide during the past decade, attracting a growing interest in solar power forecasting over short time horizons. The increasing integration of these resources without accurate power forecasts hinders the grid operation and discourages the use of this renewable resource. To overcome this problem, Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) provide a solution to centralize the management of several installations to minimize the forecasting error. This paper introduces a method to efficiently produce intra-day accurate Photovoltaic (PV) power forecasts at different locations, by using free and available information. Prediction intervals, which are based on the Mean Absolute Error (MAE), account for the forecast uncertainty which provides additional information about the VPP node power generation. The performance of the forecasting strategy has been verified against the power generated by a real PV installation, and a set of ground-based meteorological stations in geographical proximity have been used to emulate a VPP. The forecasting approach is based on a Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) network and shows similar errors to those obtained with other deep learning methods published in the literature, offering a MAE performance of 44.19 W/m2 under different lead times and launch times. By applying this technique to 8 VPP nodes, the global error is reduced by 12.37% in terms of the MAE, showing huge potential in this environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5648
Number of pages21
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2021


  • long short-term memory recurrent neural network (LSTM-RNN)
  • power forecasting
  • virtual power plant (VPP)


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