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Australian Government | Australian Renewable Energy Agency | ARENA
23 September 2020

Blown away by improved wind forecasting


Welcome to ARENA Insights - a newsletter dedicated to sharing knowledge and insights with industry.

Improved forecasting at the Lake Bonney Wind Farms

In 2019, ARENA partnered with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to explore the potential for wind and solar farms to provide their own, more accurate, forecasts of their output into AEMO’s central dispatch system.

Vestas is the first of 11 Short-Term Forecasting projects to be completed. Trial results were positive for both the forecasting service provider, Vestas, digital solutions provider, Utopus Insights, and the owner-operator of the wind farm, Infigen Energy.

ARENA interviewed the forecasting team and asset owner to learn about the results and where they’re setting their sights next.

ARENA: What result are you most proud of achieving in the trial?

Utopus Insights: The fact that we were able to deliver commercial value early on to Infigen has been the most important achievement. Our forecasting models performed well early into the project to show results for the customer, and we were the first wind power self-forecasting service to qualify on behalf of Infigen.

ARENA: Did the benefits outweigh the costs for self-forecasting for the Lake Bonney Wind Farm owner, Infigen?

Vestas: It was estimated by Infigen that the Causer Pays Factor at Lake Bonney 2 and 3 reduced by 26% due to the more accurate self-forecast. The estimated cost saving was $198,000 (or $1,000 per MW) annually based on the median 28-day cost reductions.

Read the full spotlight interview 


Site image of Lake Bonney wind and battery farm

Image: Lake Bonney Wind Farm

More insights can be found in the project results report 


The importance of accurate forecasting for co-located storage

Insights into the operations of the Gannawarra Energy Storage System (GESS) and Gannawarra Solar Farm (GSF), which share the same grid connection point, demonstrate the potential of self-forecasting to improve the accuracy of electricity dispatch from co-located battery storage.

In March 2019, 10 MW of battery capacity could have been dispatched at the Maximum Pricing Cap ($14,000 MW/h) but the GESS’s output was restricted due to AEMO’s overestimated solar forecast of the GSF.

This came at an opportunity cost of ~$150,000 of lost revenue. These inaccuracies could be improved with more sophisticated solar forecasting technologies ARENA’s Short-Term Forecasting Trial is exploring.

Site image of the Gannawarra Solar and Battery Farm

Image: Gannawarra Energy Storage System


Read the GESS operations report 


Experience and download real time wind farm data

Learn about Meridian’s forecasting project and access real-time forecasting data from the Mt Mercer wind farm. 


An Interactive Wind Farm Experience 


Innovation Bay & ARENA

Five renewable energy startups pitched at the second renewable energy founder event co-hosted by ARENA and Innovation Bay.

  • Diffuse Energy – small-scale wind provider
  • Electro.Aero – electric aircraft propulsion specialist
  • Iron Matrix – solar construction innovator
  • Relectrify – battery management developers
  • Solpod – provider of flexible and relocatable rooftop solar systems

Innovation Bay


Read more in the ARENAWIRE Blog


New to the Knowledge Bank

Battery storage

  • The standalone Ballarat Battery Energy Storage System is the first grid-scale battery-based storage system commissioned in Victoria. Read their lessons learnt from the first 12 months of operation.

Concentrated solar thermal

  • The Vast Solar project is a world-first modular Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) system that uses sodium as the heat transfer fluid. Read their lastest reports.

Demand response

  • Participants in the second year of the ARENA-AEMO Demand Response Short Notice Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader Trial successfully delivered more than their contracted capacity. Read more about the overall performance.

Electric vehicles

  • The Energy Freedom Solar Electric Vehicle Pilot project is developing a lightweight, energy efficient, autonomous electric vehicle that incorporates solar PV roof and lithium-ion battery system. Read about the progress and key learnings gained from the first 15 months of operations.

Renewables for industry

  • Renewable Energy Hub is developing specifications for a suite of innovative, standardised hedge contracts suited to both variable renewable energy generators and new sources of clean dispatchable capacity, as well as the changing needs of energy retailers and large customers. Read their first and second lessons learnt reports.

Distributed energy resources

  • The Decentralised Energy Exchange (deX) digital platform allows electricity networks to coordinate the increasing volume of distributed energy resources in the electricity grid. Read their lastest progress report
  • This report investigates the adoption of “non-traditional” solutions in combination with “traditional” solutions to increase the solar PV hosting capacity of PV-rich Distribution Networks.


  • ARENA engaged Clear Horizon Consulting to deliver a mid-term evaluation of ARENA’s International Engagement Program (IEP). The IEP is designed to support greater Australian participation in international renewable energy collaborations.
Australian Government | Australian Renewable Energy Agency | ARENA
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