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Understanding the 8760 Report: A Comprehensive Guide

Updated: Jan 25

Photo of wind turbines and solar panels on land

In today’s dynamic energy landscape, accurate analysis and strategic planning are essential for success in the renewable energy sector. An 8760 report provides a rich cache of detailed information that developers can use to gain an edge with their solar endeavors. In this article, we provide a guide to 8760 reports for solar development and explore the significance, generation process, interpretation, and applications of an 8760 report, as well as the best practices for their use.

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What is an 8760 report?

An 8760 model refers to the examination and analysis of energy generation (or load) for every hour across a span of 12 months. In the case of energy generation, the model simulates the output for all 8,760 hours within the specified time frame.  In the context of a solar project, an 8760 report provides a detailed analysis of energy generation and offers insights into the expected solar power output throughout the year, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of the project's performance.

Key components and data included in an 8760 Report

An 8760 report for a solar project takes into account several factors including:

  • Solar Irradiance: The amount of sunlight received at the project site plays a crucial role. Historical weather data, including solar irradiance measurements, are used to estimate the available solar energy for each hour.

  • Panel Efficiency: The efficiency of the solar panels installed in the project is considered. Different solar panels have varying efficiencies, which affect the conversion of sunlight into usable electricity. Panel Orientation and Tilt: The orientation and tilt angle of the solar panels are significant factors. These determine the panels' exposure to the sun and influence the amount of solar energy they can capture.

  • Weather Variations: Weather patterns fluctuate throughout the year, affecting solar irradiance levels. Historical weather data is used to simulate these variations, considering factors like cloud cover, temperature, and atmospheric conditions. By integrating all these factors, an 8760 generation report calculates the anticipated solar energy output for each hour over the course of a year. This report is a valuable tool for assessing the project's performance, optimizing system design, and making informed decisions regarding energy production and consumption.

If you’re looking for historical data in an 8760 report, LandGate can provide you with a certified third-party evaluation, or the tools to do it on your own.

Purpose and benefits of generating an 8760 report for solar development

An 8760 report serves several important purposes and offers various benefits, including:

  • Performance Assessment: The report allows for an evaluation of the solar project's performance by providing hour-by-hour data on energy generation. It helps stakeholders determine whether the system is meeting expected output levels and identify any deviations or issues.

  • Optimization Opportunities: By examining the solar generation patterns throughout the year, the report helps identify optimization opportunities. It provides insights into peak production periods, variations due to weather conditions, and potential areas for system improvement or adjustments.

  • Financial Analysis: The report aids in financial analysis by quantifying the expected solar energy output. It assists in estimating the potential revenue generated from the solar project, evaluating the return on investment, and assessing the project's economic viability.

  • System Design and Sizing: An 8760 solar generation report is valuable in determining the appropriate system design and sizing. It assists in selecting the optimal number and configuration of solar panels, considering factors such as available rooftop space, energy demand, and expected generation capacity.

  • Performance Monitoring: The report acts as a benchmark for ongoing performance monitoring. By comparing actual energy generation against the predicted values, it helps identify any deviations or underperformance, allowing for timely corrective measures.

Overall, generating an 8760 solar generation report offers a wealth of information and benefits that aid in assessing, optimizing, and maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of solar energy systems. It empowers stakeholders to make data-driven decisions, ensure system performance, and achieve the desired energy production outcomes.

Who uses an 8760 Report?

During the development of a utility-scale solar farm, an 8760 solar generation report is typically provided to various stakeholders involved in the project. These stakeholders may include:

  • Project Developers: The report is shared with the developers who are responsible for planning, designing, and implementing the solar farm. They use the report to assess the feasibility and viability of the project and make informed decisions during the development process. Investors: Investors interested in funding the solar farm project often require detailed information about its expected energy generation. The 8760 solar generation report provides them with crucial data to evaluate the financial viability of the project and assess the potential return on investment.

  • Energy Consultants and Engineers: Consultants and engineers involved in the project utilize the solar generation report to conduct technical assessments, evaluate system performance, and optimize the design of the solar farm. The report helps them understand the expected solar energy output throughout the year and plan the system accordingly.

  • Utility Companies: Utility companies, which will purchase the electricity generated by the solar farm, may request the 8760 solar generation report to assess the reliability, capacity, and dispatch-ability of the solar power plant. This information is crucial for utility companies to integrate the solar energy into their grid and manage the overall power supply.

  • Regulatory Authorities: Regulatory bodies or government agencies responsible for overseeing and permitting energy projects may require the solar generation report as part of the approval process. The report provides essential information on the expected energy output, helping regulators assess compliance with renewable energy targets and environmental standards.

  • Insurance Providers: Insurance companies may require the solar generation report to evaluate the risk associated with insuring the solar farm. The report provides them with data on the expected energy generation, allowing them to assess potential revenue losses and determine appropriate coverage.

It's worth noting that the specific stakeholders who receive the 8760 solar generation report may vary depending on the project and its location. The report is generally shared with parties involved in project development, financing, technical assessments, grid integration, and regulatory compliance.

What are specific solar development use cases?

8760 solar generation reports can be a valuable tool for various use cases. Here are some specific ways you can utilize such a report:

  • System Design and Sizing: The solar generation report can provide you with detailed information about the annual solar energy production potential at a specific location. You can use this data to optimize the system design and size the solar plant accordingly. It helps you determine the number of solar panels, inverters, and other equipment required to achieve the desired energy output.

  • Financial Analysis: The solar generation report can be used to perform a comprehensive financial analysis of the solar project. By estimating the annual energy generation, you can calculate the revenue potential based on prevailing electricity prices or power purchase agreements. This information is crucial for evaluating the financial viability of the project and attracting potential investors.

  • Performance Monitoring: Once the solar plant is operational, the 8760 solar generation report serves as a benchmark for performance monitoring. By comparing the actual energy production with the predicted values, you can assess the plant's efficiency and identify any performance deviations or issues. This helps in troubleshooting, maintenance planning, and optimizing overall system performance.

  • Grid Integration and Planning: Utility-scale solar projects have implications for grid integration and planning. The solar generation report provides insights into the hourly, daily, and seasonal variations in solar energy production. This information aids grid operators and utilities in better understanding the intermittent nature of solar power, managing grid stability, and planning for energy storage or backup generation to ensure reliable electricity supply.

  • Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs): In many jurisdictions, renewable energy certificates are associated with the generation of renewable energy. The 8760 solar generation report can help quantify the amount of renewable energy generated by the solar plant, which is essential for claiming and trading RECs. These certificates can be sold to organizations or utilities to meet renewable energy targets or offset their carbon emissions.

  • Environmental Impact Assessment: Solar generation reports contribute to assessing the environmental impact of utility-scale solar projects. By estimating the annual solar generation, you can calculate the corresponding reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional fossil fuel-based generation. This information supports sustainability reporting and compliance with environmental regulations.

  • System Optimization and Upgrades: Over time, as technology advances and solar plant components age, there may be opportunities for system optimization or upgrades. The 8760 solar generation report can help identify underperforming periods or areas within the project site. By analyzing the data, you can make informed decisions about equipment upgrades, maintenance strategies, or potential reconfiguration to maximize energy production.

These use cases demonstrate the importance of a comprehensive solar generation report in facilitating decision-making, financial analysis, performance monitoring, and optimizing utility-scale solar projects throughout their lifecycle.

How to Generate an 8760 Report for Solar Development

1: Login in to LandGate

2: Open Solar PowerVal

3: Build a portfolio by either selecting an existing solar farm project or drawing your own solar farm layout in the desired location

4: Run the valuation for the selected portfolio

5: After the valuation has completed select the arrow in the top right corner to export the report

6: Select 8760 Report and export (if you have multiple solar farms in the portfolio you will need to select which farms you want to generate the report for)

7: Generate the Report

As the renewable energy industry continues to grow, the ability to generate accurate and detailed reports such as the 8760 report becomes increasingly crucial. By utilizing the insights derived from these reports, energy planners, facility managers, and renewable energy project developers can make informed decisions, optimize energy usage, and pave the way for a sustainable and efficient energy future.

Want to discuss the use of 8760 reports with our team, or learn how to use tour platform for your business? Get in touch with our team today:


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