A large number of photovoltaic (PV) power systems have been adopted in Japan after a feed‐in tariff was introduced in 2012. However, PV power generation data from residential rooftop and/or ground‐mounted PV systems, and larger MW‐size PV plants have not been measured accurately in real‐time. This is because PV power monitoring instruments (eg, smart meters) have not collected a sufficient amount of power generation data. In order to realize adequate safety control of electric power systems under high PV‐penetration conditions, it is important to fully understand the temporal and spatial variations associated with PV power generation. In this study, we estimated the PV power generation for a regional area (ie, prefecture or municipality) in terms of PV power installation capacity and satellite‐estimated solar irradiance using a Japanese geostationary satellite, Himawari‐8. The satellite‐derived regionally integrated PV power estimations were validated with reference data provided by electric power companies. The validation results showed that these estimations were comparable to the reference data, provided by the Kyushu Electric Power Company Inc. (Kyushu) and the Tokyo Electric Power Company Inc. (TEPCO). However, the results also identified slight overestimations of PV power in the spring and summer seasons. An advantage of the proposed method is that it does not require land‐based monitoring instruments, which can lead to increased operational cost savings for PV power systems. Furthermore, in consideration of future PV power penetration scenarios, it is suggested that PV power in excess of regional power demands could be generated under the same weather conditions.

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Journal reference: Energy Science and Engineering

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