Industry Panel 3

Industry Panel 3  Solar Forecasting and Grid Integration
Organizer  Dr Thomas Reindl, Deputy CEO of the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) and Principal Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
Date and Time  Wednesday, 23-05-2018, 1:30 pm – 3:00pm
Location  MR325
Details To facilitate large-scale deployment of solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation into the Singapore grid without disrupting the quality and reliability of electric supply, forecasting of the largely distributed solar power generation is necessary. From a power system operations perspective, there are two main challenges: (i) forecasting of irradiance over various time horizons; and (ii) accurate conversion of irradiance into actual solar power output, both of which come with uncertainties, which need to be understood for power system management and market participation.For example in Singapore, due to its location in the inter-tropical convergence zone and to local meteorological phenomena, irradiance forecasting for Singapore requires a suite of techniques that must be applied in order to achieve a seamless forecasting output from 5 minutes to 7 hours ahead. These techniques range from statistical methods for the short-term horizon (up to 30min) to cloud cover predictions and complex numerical weather predictions (NWP) for hours-ahead forecasts. In addition to irradiance prediction errors, conversion of irradiance into actual solar power generation also adds to the uncertainty, especially in a highly urban tropical context like Singapore where factors such as PV module temperatures, inverter behavior, system degradation and shading need to be considered as well. Only when those challenges are addressed and quantified, is it possible for the power system operator to balance generation with load demand for dispatch and to publish required conventional power generation capacities in the electricity market for trading.
Bio Dr Thomas REINDL

Deputy CEO,

Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS)

Principal Research Fellow

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Dr Thomas REINDL is Deputy CEO of the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) and Principal Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

He started with photovoltaics (PV) in 1992 at the SIEMENS Corporate R&D Labs. After holding several management positions at SIEMENS and running one of the leading German PV systems integration companies as Chief Operating Officer, he joined SERIS in 2010 and soon became Director of the Solar Energy System cluster. During his time at SERIS, he won public research grants in excess of SGD 20 million, founded 2 spin-off companies and authored strategic scientific papers such as the “PV Roadmap for Singapore”.

Dr. Reindl holds a Master in Chemistry, a Ph.D. in Natural Sciences and an MBA from INSEAD, all awarded with highest honors. His research interest are high-performance PV and embedded systems, techno-economic road-mapping and the reliable integration of renewable energies into power systems.

Speaker summary: Speakers:

  • Nicolas SCHMUTZ, CEO & Founder, REUNIWATT, France
  • DONG Zibo, Senior Data Scientist, Envision Digital, China/Singapore
  • WONG Wai Kin, Principal Engineer, ElectraNet Pty Ltd, Australia
  • Wilfred WALSH, Head, Solar Potential & Energy Meteorology, Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS), Singapore


Nicolas founded Reuniwatt in 2010 after working for more than 10 years within large companies (Air Liquide, Albioma). Reuniwatt is providing industrial and cutting-edge solutions to the solar PV community to assess and forecast solar energy, in order to massively and securely inject photovoltaics into the grid.  Reuniwatt is a leader in short-term forecasting for isolated sites (off-grid, microgrid) needing hybrid electric production.

The idea of developing a solar power forecasting tool had been growing for years in Nicolas’s mind: he eventually decided to dedicate his research to this technology. He is now at the head of a 20-employee company, located in Paris and Reunion island (in the Indian Ocean), which spent more than 150,000 hours of R&D to offer the most advanced and innovative solutions on the market. The multidisciplinary and multicultural team comprises several PhDs, meteorologists and engineers specialised in IT, datamining, remote sensing and artificial intelligence who develop state-of-the-art products and services.

Reuniwatt creates hardware and Software as a Service solutions that help the different energy stakeholders (solar producers, transmission and distribution system operators, plant managers, energy traders, off-grid project developers, aggregators…) make the right choices. Reuniwatt  has clients all over the world (Europe, Asia, Africa, Americas) and many international references including Total, meteocontrol and Voltalia.

Nicolas studied in France at the Ecole Polytechnique and at SUPAERO (rocket science). He has a definite passion for innovation, and has patented a dozen inventions. He lives in Reunion Island, a French department in the Indian Ocean with 1 million inhabitants, where he founded Reuniwatt and which was the first place in the world to achieve 30% of renewable energy in the energy mix.

Dr. Zibo Dong is senior data scientist at Envisions’ Global Digital Hub in Singapore. He has many years of experience in developing predictive and analytical models for solar irradiance forecasting for PV grid integration using both statistical analysis and advanced machine learning modelling.

Dr Dong has published numerous papers on high-impact journals on solar irradiance forecasting. He has also been invited to various academic conferences for oral presentations, including this year’s top solar conference, the World Conference for Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC).

He holds a B.Eng. (1st Class Honour) and a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Dr. Wong Wai Kin is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of Adelaide and also outgoing Principal Engineer at ElectraNet Pty Ltd in Adelaide, South Australia, where he was the Technical Lead for grid connections and regulatory compliance, dynamic power system stability modeling/analysis, renewable energy integration, strategic system planning and emerging technologies for South Australia’s transmission network.

Dr. Wong obtained his B.Eng(1st Class Hons) and Ph.D(Electrical Engineering) degrees from the National University of Singapore in 1993 and 1998 respectively.  He holds Chair and Vice-chair roles for the South Australian Chapter of the IEEE Power and Energy Society since 2013.

Dr. Wong’s technical interests include power generation, transmission and distribution, renewable energy such as wind and solar, power system analysis, energy storage, demand response, renewable microgrids, electric vehicles, and emerging topics such as V2G, Internet of Things/Energy, Blockchaining and distributed peer-to-peer energy exchange/trading.

Dr Wilfred Walsh (BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD), has over 20 years’ experience in research and management roles within academia and industry. Dr Walsh has worked on astrophysics, physics and technology research at CSIRO Australia, Max-Planck Gesellschaft, Germany and Harvard University, USA, specializing in site testing, radio detectors and installations in Antarctica, where he wintered-over in 2002, managing the South Pole AST/RO observatory and studying the upper atmosphere. Dr Walsh has been a partner of HCI Pty Ltd, a Sydney technology consultancy, has acted as an adviser to the Australian government on research policy. He was awarded a US congressional medal and bar in 2003 for his services to Antarctic research.

In 2006, Dr Walsh became one of the founding Professors of UNSW Asia in Singapore. In 2008, he established Biosphere Capital Pte Ltd, a consultancy firm providing governance, emissions trading and financial services to the renewable energy industry. Since 2011 Dr Walsh has been working at the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore at the National University of Singapore, in the new field of energy meteorology which aims to quantify renewable energy resources to facilitate the large scale deployment of sustainable energy sources. At present his work focuses on solar irradiance forecasting and grid management for cities with high penetration levels of solar photovoltaic electricity generation…