Solar Power Plant Performance

  • Jesús PoloEmail author
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


A key part in the development of any project for deployment a solar power plant is the analysis of the expected energy yield production. The system energy production depends on the plant design, the technology used for power conversion, the solar resource, and the characteristics of the site. Due to the intrinsic variability of the solar resource, the prediction of long-term electricity production is also crucial for the financial evaluation of solar power plants. The energy yield performance is thus the process of predicting the annual average energy output for the lifetime of the solar power plant. For that purpose, a number of system performance models and tools have been developed; many of them are updated regularly. In addition, several international programs deliver recommendations and guidelines for yield performance analysis. Thus, in the case of photovoltaic (PV) plants the PVPS program from the International Energy Agency (IEA) publishes regularly updated reports on many aspects of PV generation ( In addition, the Sandia National Laboratories is facilitating a collaborative group called PV Performance Modeling Collaborative (PVPMC) with regular activities focused on improving the accuracy of PV performance analysis ( On the other hand, in the case of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), the SolarPACES program of the IEA ( is developing guidelines for solar thermal energy (STE) yield assessment. This chapter summarizes the main aspects included in the tools and software for estimating yield performance of PV and CSP power plants and the long-term characterization of yield energy, risk analysis, and uncertainty quantification.



The author/editor, Jesús Polo, wishes to acknowledge the PVCastSOIL Proyect (ENE2017-83790-C3-1, 2 and 3), which is funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Photovoltaic Solar Energy Unit, Renewable Energy Division (Energy Department)CIEMATMadridSpain

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