New solar data and a request for research topics

12/02/2016
We wish to announce the availability of a new public data resource, containing data records for more than 800,000 distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed in the United States. In conjunction with the release of this public data file, we are also soliciting suggestions from the solar industry and policy community for research questions that might be explored with this dataset.
 
The public data file is based on data collected and cleaned by Berkeley Lab for its annual Tracking the Sun report. The file includes more than 60 data fields describing key attributes of individual PV systems, including size, location, date of installation, installed price, equipment specifications, installer name, and other details. The data file and accompanying User Guide can be accessed through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)'s Open PV Project data portal.
 
Over the next two years, Berkeley Lab will be collaborating with the University of Texas, the University of Wisconsin, Yale University, and NREL to conduct a series of analyses that leverage this dataset. Many of these analyses will be led by graduate students participating in capstone research projects, while others will be conducted directly by the research team.
 
In order to ensure that this future work is valuable to the broader solar industry and policy community, we are "crowd-sourcing" possible research questions that might be explored with this dataset. We encourage you to offer suggestions via this short questionnaire, and to indicate whether you would be interested in serving as the client or participating in some other manner in the execution of the project.
 
For additional information:
 
We appreciate the funding support of the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technologies Office in making this work possible.