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Conditional summertime day-ahead solar irradiance forecast
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We investigated the accuracy of numerical weather prediction (NWP)-based global horizontal irradiance (Gill) and clear-sky index forecasting over southern Nevada. Accurate forecasts of solar irradiance are required for electric utilities to economically integrate substantial amounts of solar power into their power generation portfolios. Solar irradiance forecasting can enhance the value of renewable energy by anticipating fluctuations in these variable resources. Summertime cloud variability depends largely on the combination of tropical and extratropical synoptic-scale forcing, most of which is observable, predictable, and highly related to the North American Monsoon moisture surge events. We used high-resolution realtime NWP output based on the weather and research forecasting (WRF) model to study the ability of the model to deliver day-ahead GHI and clear-sky index forecasts for a the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)-University of Nevada site, located in Las Vegas, Nevada. High-resolution forecast products were obtained from the Desert Research Institute (DRI) archived real-time numerical weather forecasting products. Results showed the importance of developing a site-specific seasonal and weather-dependent model output statistics (MOS) approach to improving forecast accuracy, which removes the bias and reduces the overall relative root-mean - square error (rRMSE) of GHI by as much as 6%, when compared to the uncorrected model outputimproving forecast accuracy is obtained by adding information that relates regional-scale circulation patterns driving cloudiness, hence irradiance variability to the target area. We show the seasonal dependence of the NWP forecast accuracy and demonstrate that intelligent weather functions provide a pathway to improve accuracy of solar forecasts further.