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The US Department of Energy (DOE) advised that as part of its SunShot Initiative, it will be making US$9 million available in 2012 so that utilities and grid operators can better forecast where, when and how much solar power will be generated at US solar energy plants.
The US DOE will select one or two projects for this funding, potentially partnering with national laboratories, universities and industry to work on improving the accuracy of solar forecasting in the sub-hourly, short-term (1 to 6 hours) and day-ahead timeframes. Projects will be funded based on how well they can improve the advanced weather modeling, find breakthrough methods for better predicting solar energy output, work to incorporate solar energy forecasts into power system operations and demonstrating the economic benefits and improved system reliability for more precise forecasts.
Up to US$9 million will be provided this year for projects for up to a three year duration. More than 20% of the total funding will be provided by the private sector and other sources. Interested applicants can find the full solicitation here.