Utility Scale Solar Forecasts

API documentation for the Utility Scale Solar Farm Forecasting product

Utility Scale Solar Forecasts via API

Solcast delivers Utility Scale solar forecasting data via an API framework that connects you to a global Rapid Update forecasting system.

Quick Start: Example Site - Nyngan Solar Farm

Once you’ve registered for the Solcast API, you’re assigned a selection of test sites which will allow you to download forecast and recent estimated actuals data in a variety of formats.

Each Utility Scale site has a unique resource ID that links the user to stored information about the system’s installed capacity, location and tracking information. This resource ID allows you to retrieve the latest forecasting information and POST PV power measurements. Posting PV power measurements allows Solcast’s PV Tuning technologies to improve and individualise your forecasts.

GET solar farm forecasting data

With your unique resource ID, you can take a number of actions via a GET request:

  • Download the latest forecast data
  • View recent solar forecast performance
  • Retrieve recent estimated actuals
  • Display a demo chart of available data

The following sections include examples of these requests.

Download the latest forecasting data

The Nyngan solar farm (a 102MW solar farm in NSW Australia) has the unique resource ID . To retrieve its forecasting data in .csv format, the API GET request is:

GET https://api.solcast.com.au/utility_scale_sites/720f-098e-5591-0000/forecasts?format=csv

Or in JSON format:

GET https://api.solcast.com.au/utility_scale_sites/720f-098e-5591-0000/forecasts?format=json

Or to display in a web browswer:

GET https://api.solcast.com.au/utility_scale_sites/720f-098e-5591-0000/forecasts

Which displays the data in a user friendly format: nyngan-solar-farm-example.png

The user can also retrieve recent historical data by replacing forecasts to estimated_actuals in the URL string.

Display recent accuracy or live forecasting data

The user can also display one of two easy-access demo charts, by appending /recent or /accuracy to the URL.

The /recent demo chart can be called by entering the following URL in the browser (once authenticated):

https://api.solcast.com.au/utility_scale_sites/720f-098e-5591-0000/recent

utility-scale-solar-farm-recent-forecast.png

And in the spirit of transparency, the /accuracy demo chart can be called via:

https://api.solcast.com.au/utility_scale_sites/720f-098e-5591-0000/accuracy

This chart displays the 1-hour ahead forecast agains the estimated actuals, and PV measurement data if live POST-ing is active (this is the case with Nyngan):

utility-scale-solar-farm-recent-forecast-with-accuracy.png

Accessing 5, 10 or 15 minute data

Solcast’s Rapid Update solar forecasting data is available at 5, 10, 15 and 30 minute resolutions. The default API GET request will retrieve 30 minute data (PT30M). The user can adjust the resolution of the forecast by appending ?period=PT[XX]M to the GET request, replacing [XX] with 5, 10 or 15.

For example, five-minute resolution forecasting data can be retrieved in JSON format for Nyngan by:

GET https://api.solcast.com.au/utility_scale_sites/5eb3-6d95-6557-ee25/?period=PT5M&format=json

Similarly, the recent demo chart can also have its resolution adjusted:

https://api.solcast.com.au/utility_scale_sites/5eb3-6d95-6557-ee25/recent?period=PT5M

How to add your own site?

In evaluation mode you can add one test site; paid customers can add as many as needed. Add your first site by initiating a POST request to the API. Here’s how:

To create your Utility Scale Site, the user will have to complete a POST request in the following JSON format (with >YOUR_KEY< replaced by your API Key):

POST https://api.solcast.com.au/utility_scale_sites?format=json&api_key=>YOUR_KEY<

With the JSON variables as follows:

post-create-utility-scale-site.png

An example of a correctly formatted POST request is also provided here:

utility_scale-solar-site-creation.png

Once successful, the user should receive a response, which will issue you your unique resource ID:

utility-scale-site-create-success.png

Additional Information

You can find more helpful information about setting up a Utility Scale solar forecasting site in our “Getting Started” series on Intercom.

More Information Coming Soon

We’ll be publishing finalised documentation for the Utility Scale solar forecasting API framework in early 2019. If you’d like more information about how to test out the new system now, please Contact Us.