Friday, January 2, 2015

Load Forecasting and Load Research

Load forecasting is simply the activity to forecast load. (refer to Load, Demand, Energy and Power). According to AEIC Load Research and Analytics Committee, load research is the activity embracing the measurement and study of the characteristics of electric loads to provide a thorough & reliable knowledge of trends, and general behavior of the load characteristics of the customers serviced by the electric power industry.

An important application of load research is long term load forecasting (refer to Very Short, Short, Medium and Long Term Load Forecasting). Load research provides load profiles of various customer classes, which can be then used to forecast the load at customer class level. Such forecasts together with the load research study results are important inputs to utility cost-of-service allocation and rate making.

Some large utilities separate load research and load forecasting into two groups. In many utilities, load research and load forecasting are handled by the same team, or even the same person. For instance, in the recently posted job opening at SRP, the position desires a hybrid role of load research and forecasting. At NCEMC, my colleague and friend Jason Wilson has a title "Load Research Analyst", though most of his job responsibilities are on load forecasting (see our paper Long Term Probabilistic Load Forecasting and Normalization with Hourly Information).

Back to Load Forecasting Terminology.

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