The Solar Forecast Arbiter: An Open Source Evaluation Framework for Solar Forecasting

Clifford W. Hansen, William F. Holmgren, Aidan Tuohy, Justin Sharp, Antonio T. Lorenzo, Leland J. Boeman, Anastasios Golnas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations


We describe an open source evaluation framework for solar forecasting to support the DOE Solar Forecasting 2 program and the broader solar forecast community. The framework enables evaluations of solar irradiance, solar power, and net-load forecasts that are impartial, repeatable and auditable. First, we define the use cases of the framework. The use cases, developed from the project's initial stakeholder engagement sessions, include comparisons to reference data sets, private forecast trials, evaluation of probabilistic forecast skill, and examinations of forecast errors during critical periods. We discuss the framework's data validation toolkit, reference data sources, and data privacy protocols. We describe the framework's benchmark forecast capabilities for intra-hour and day ahead forecast horizons. Finally, we summarize the reports and metrics that communicate the relative merits of the test and benchmark forecasts. The reports are created from standardized templates and include graphics for quantitatively evaluating deterministic and probabilistic forecasts and standard metrics for quantitatively evaluating forecasts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 IEEE 46th Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781728104942
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Event46th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2019 - Chicago, United States
Duration: Jun 16 2019Jun 21 2019

Publication series

NameConference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
ISSN (Print)0160-8371


Conference46th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Forecasting
  • Performance evaluation
  • Solar energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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