First Solar PlantPredict gains acceptance in utility-scale projects

First Solar announced that PlantPredict, the company’s utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) energy prediction software, has been used to generate the reference energy predictions in the sale of three utility-scale projects totaling more than 350MWac.

PlantPredict is a sophisticated solar energy modeling tool designed to develop energy estimates for utility-scale solar PV installations.

The transactions demonstrate that the cloud-based modeling tool has gained acceptance by lenders and asset owners as a bankable primary resource in analyzing and predicting performance of utility-scale PV solar projects, First Solar said.

Energy predictions generated by PlantPredict were used as the basis for EPC and O&M guarantees for projects including the 40MWac Cuyama Solar Project, owned by an affiliate of D. E. Shaw Renewable Investmentsand the 150MW second phase of the California Flats solar power plant, owned by Capital Dynamics.

A review of PlantPredict’s capabilities by independent engineering firm Leidos found that the application provided modeling accuracy equivalent to other energy prediction modeling tools currently used in the industry, such as PVSyst.

Leidos’ analysis found that Plant Predict matched operational data in the test cases they studied “within reasonable uncertainty as expected within these models.”