Sheffield Solar

The data available at the Sheffield Solar endpoints

This dataset gives solar generation, historic and forecast, across Great Britain.

It comes from The University of Sheffield.

They use power meters at various solar sites across the country and an up-to-date list of the location and capacity of solar sites (as well as weather data) to estimate how much solar is produced - and how much will be produced.

National Grid uses this data to help manage the electricity system, as they have very poor visibility of how much solar generation is on the network. When you look at National Grid's data on solar generation, it's actually (some of) this dataset, coming from Sheffield Solar.

The data is highly locational

There is national data for Great Britain, as well as for each of the 14 Distribution Network areas, and even down to each Grid Supply Point (300+).

As well as historical data, a forecast of generation at these locations is also available

The forecast is updated 12 times per day, and spans the next 5 days.

A point is given for each 30 minutes.

What are some of the use cases?

  • Solar generators could use it to estimate how much their sites are producing in real time, or how much they will produce, to help with anything from operations and maintenance, fault detection, to trading strategies for the power they generate
  • Analysts trying to forecast system conditions
  • Traders who want to understand or take advantage of the volatility in solar production
  • Project developers building business cases for solar sites

Do let us know if you have any more uses for it, we'd love to hear it!

Below shows some examples from the dataset to illustrate the data and how to get it from the Modo API.

Historic generation at half-hour granularity at various geographic levels:

  • National (use type id = 0)
  • At each distribution network operator level (use type='pes' and type_id=10 for DNO 10, for example)
  • At each grid supply point (use type='gsp' and type_id=67for GSP 67, for example)

The first data point we have is"2023-06-01T12:30:00"

Forecasts of solar generation, which are updated 12 times a day

The timing of the forecast updates are currently as follows:

"01:00:00", "02:00:00", "03:00:00", "04:00:00", "05:00:00", "06:00:00",

"07:00:00Z",   "10:00:00Z", "13:00:00",   "16:00:00",    "19:00:00",   "22:00:00"

This is derived from the Sheffield Solar (undocumented) endpoint which gives the timings of the forecast runs:

This is outside of Modo's control and may change in the future - do check that endpoint or send us a question in intercom if it stops working.

National forecast for the next 5 days

DNO & GSP level forecasts for the next 2 days

 More information

More information on historic generation is available here:

More information on the forecast, including a review of the performance of the forecasst for 2019, is available here