NOAA ESRL/CIRES researchers receive energy achievement award

Image of solar panels and sky

March 16, 2017

NOAA ESRL/CIRES atmospheric scientists were honored with the Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group (UVIG) 2017 Annual Achievement Award for major contributions to advancing the state-of-the-art of solar energy forecasting. The awards were presented at the 2017 Spring Technical Workshop and UVIG Annual Meeting on March 15, 2017 in Tucson.

In 2014, NOAA partnered with NCAR and IBM on the Solar Forecast Improvement Project to develop more accurate methods for solar forecasts. NOAA works to improve numerical weather prediction guidance with model physics and parameterizations that will help make solar forecasts more accurate. NOAA also provides high-quality, ground-based solar measurements from the Integrated Surface Irradiance Study (ISIS) and Surface Radiation Network (SURFRAD) observation networks to verify model output that the renewable energy sector uses for predicting wind and solar power production.

The following scientists from the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder are receiving the UVIG 2017 Annual Achievement Award:

  • Joseph OlsonJoseph Olson is a CIRES research scientist in the Global Systems Division of NOAA ESRL. He has made improvements to the planetary boundary layer scheme used in the 13-km Rapid Refresh (RAP) and 3-km High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) weather models. Currently, he is the NOAA Technical Lead for the Wind Forecast Improvement Project 2, which aims to improve forecasts of wind-turbine-height winds in complex terrain.

  • Eric JamesEric James is a CIRES research associate in the Global Systems Division of NOAA ESRL. He develops and tests the next-generation 13-km Rapid Refresh and the 3-km High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR). Eric also maintains a long-term archive of HRRR forecasts, used to estimate renewable energy resources at a high resolution throughout the continental United States. Eric is also currently participating in the Solar Forecast Improvement Project (SFIP).

  • Kathleen LantzKathleen Lantz is a CIRES research scientist and a member of the Global Radiation Group (GRAD) of the NOAA ESRL Global Monitoring Division (GMD), where she leads the Solar Renewable Energy team. Her research focuses on atmospheric radiation, radiative transfer, surface radiation budget, and aerosol properties. Her recent work emphasizes solar radiation for renewable energy and GOES-R satellite product validation. Current projects include the NOAA-DOE Solar Forecasting Improvement Project (SFIP) and Wind Forecasting Improvement Project (WFIP-2).

The Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group is a not-for-profit organization that engages in engineering and educational activities to advance the theory and practice of integrating renewable energy into electric systems. UVIG is the leading source of global expertise for wind and solar power system integration and operation.

For more information contact: Susan Cobb 303-497-5093