Solar Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (SDSAP-2016)

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NIWE –Solar Data Policy

          In order to identify solar potential sites in the country, MNRE, Government of India launched a National Solar Radiation Resource Assessment programme in 2010 under National Solar Mission. The programme was taken up by the SRRA unit of NIWE. One hundred eleven (111) dedicated Solar Radiation Resource Assessment (SRRA) stations were established in the country covering almost all the states and the union territories. High end solar radiation and meteorological sensors with traceability to WRR and WMO are deployed for data collection at the field stations. The data collection and analysis procedures are based on international standards/BSRN guidelines. On line quality control mechanism is in place for quality control of data. A 1.5 m tall tower is used for instrumentation of solar sensors and a 6m tower for instrumentation of meteorological sensors. Data from the field stations are transmitted to a central receiving station (CRS) established at NIWE every minute. The basic data sampling is one second and the averaging interval is one minute.

         The basic data that are being collected is 1 minute (average based on 60 second samples) data on GHI, DNI and DHI besides Wind Speed /Direction, Temperature/ Relative Humidity, Atmospheric Pressure, Rainfall etc.

         In order to facilitate solar power developers, stake holders, policy makers, R&D institutions, NIWE has been providing various SRRA data products on a commercial mode till April 2017. Ministry (MNRE) vide a circular in May 2017 has indicated that, the SRRA data has to be put in public domain without charging any cost.

         As directed by MNRE, NIWE has developed a web portal to facilitate general public to download solar radiation data. The link of the web portal and SRRA data policy are as follows.

Solar Data Sharing Policy (SDSP)-NIWE

         Realizing the immense potential of solar energy in India and that for the development of solar power plants, high quality ground measured solar radiation data is essential, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) implemented Solar Radiation Resource Assessment project through National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) and established the world's largest solar radiation monitoring network of 111 SRRA stations, spread across India. Under the National Solar Mission, MNRE has sanctioned the nationwide solar radiation resource assessment programme in two phases one in 2010 and the other one in 2013. Under Phase-I & Phase-II, 51 and 60 SRRA stations were commissioned respectively. The objective of the programme was the collection and quantification of solar & meteorological data from the SRRA stations. The project has a Pan India presence (29 states and 3 union territories).

         A typical SRRA station consists of two towers of 1.5 m and 6 m tall. The 1.5 m tall tower is equipped with a solar tracker, one Pyrheliometer and two pyranometers (one with shading disc) to measure direct, global and diffuses irradiance respectively. The 6 m tall tower houses meteorological sensors for measuring ambient temperature, relative humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind speed & direction, rain fall and a state of-the-art data acquisition system. The solar sensors are traceable to World Radiation Centre/World Radiometric Reference (WRC/WRR) and the meteorological sensors are traceable to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) respectively. The SRRA station is powered by solar energy for independent operation and has power autonomy for a week. A trigger switch is also part of the SRRA station to track the cleaning status of the station on a daily basis. Measurement of Global Radiation on Tilted surface (GTI) is not a part of the program.

         Data is sampled every second and averaged over a minute and send it to the Central Receiving Station (CRS) established at NIWE every minute through GPRS technology.

         From Phase–I stations quality controlled data for 51 stations is available since January 2012 and from Phase- II stations (60) data is available since mid 2014.

         In order to facilitate solar power developers, policy makers, R&D institutions, NIWE have been providing quality controlled various SRRA data products since 2013 on commercial basis as per Ministry’s policy known as SDSAP-2013 and 2016. However in May 2017, The Ministry revised its policy to provide SRRA data free of cost to all.

         In this connection, certain guidelines have been formulated by NIWE for the systematic data sharing and usage, as follows:

I . General Policy Guidelines

  1. NIWE is responsible for operation and maintenance of SRRA stations as per relevant National/International Protocols. The data collected at SRRA stations are transmitted to the CRS (central receiving stations) at NIWE, Chennai and data is subjected to quality checks and is preserved safely at multiple locations both raw as well as processed format.
  2. NIWE is authorized to provide only the quality controlled and processed data from all its SRRA stations through IT mechanism. Only one minute SRRA data sets will be made accessible through a prescribed process of registration / authorization by respective departments / organizations will be available to the recognized institutions / organizations / public users and through defined procedures. The data will be sent to intended receiver through Secured File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). The methodology involves, storing of data in a file which will be locked using a secured password. The password will be sent to the intended recipient registered mobile number by SMS (short Message Service) or through a registered e-mail ID to enable through either the recipient to access the data and download it for further action.
  3. Data obtained by the parties through website would be for their exclusive use only and under no circumstances, these data, in full, part or in any other form, is to be disclosed/distributed/copied/reproduced/transferred/sold to other agencies either electronically or in physical form. Parties downloading data will have to agree electronically (by clicking on the check box or tab provided) to the terms and conditions of downloading data from NIWE website. Users in all cases will be bound by the terms and conditions agreed to.
  4. Authorization to reproduce the downloaded data must be obtained from NIWE.
  5. The measured data are expected to be error free. As per policy guidelines, NIWE will be providing only one minute quality controlled data from the SRRA stations whether it is for one day or one month or one year. No other data product will be provided as the users are in a position to average it as per their discretion. SRRA data being provided free of cost is for the exclusive use of stake holders, academia, researchers, unless specifically noted otherwise, for any lawful purpose so long as you do not: 1) claim it is your own (e.g., by claiming copyright for NIWE), 2) use it in a manner that implies an endorsement or affiliation with NIWE/MNRE, or 3) modify its content and then present it as official government material. User cannot present information of his/her own in a way that makes it appear to be official government information.
  6. Use of the NIWE name ("National Institute of Wind Energy") and/or its official name are protected under trademark law and may not be used without permission from the NIWE.
  7. The user assumes the entire risk related to its use of data. NIWE provides such information "as is," and NIWE disclaims any and all warranties, whether express or implied, including (without limitation) any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. In no event will NIWE be liable to you or to any third party for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special or exemplary damages or lost profit resulting from any use or misuse of this data. National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), Chennai makes no warranty expresses or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the data or use findings of the results from the analysis of the data. NIWE will not involve any of such operational consequences matters.
  8. MNRE/NIWE will be the sole and exclusive owner of the data, (both raw and processed) received from all SRRA stations to the CRS at NIWE, Chennai. The details of SRRA stations installed by NIWE are available in the website.
  9. Sensitive data as defined in various Acts and rules of the Government of India, if any may not be shared.

II . Data Policy

  1. The unprocessed raw data would be made available only for verification of the processed data, collaborative work with National and International Institutions to develop solar maps and other value added products with specific permissions from Director General of NIWE. All such solar maps/projects developed and other value added products will be examined by an Expert Committee of NIWE consisting of experts from the Ministry, NIWE, IMD, ISRO, IIT and other reputed institutions under the Chairmanship of DG, NIWE
  2. Under collaborative projects, raw data will be sent to intended receiver through Secured File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) by registered e-mail. The methodology involves, storing of data in a file which will be locked using a secured password in a secured static IP address. The secured static IP address will be sent to the intended recipient by SMS (short Message Service) to enable the recipient to access the data and download it for further action.
  3. Data Authorship: All the data users who are accessing / using the data shall acknowledge the Ministry / NIWE in all forms of publications. The authorship decision for publications resulting from using MNRE/NIWE measuring data should follow the ethical rules of the journals and Professional organizations.
  4. Acknowledgements: All publications using NIWE data are suggested to include the following acknowledgement:
    "The SRRA data was collected by NIWE, as part of the Government of India’s National Solar Mission, which was sponsored by MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy). The involvement of the NIWE (National Institute of Wind Energy) is acknowledged."
  5. Legal framework Data will remain the property of the agency/department/ Ministry/ entity of which collected them and reside in their IT enabled facility for sharing and providing access. Access to data under this policy will not be in violation of any Acts and rules of the Government of India in force, as it is in public interest to deployment of solar power plants. Legal framework of this policy will be aligned with various Acts and rules covering the data.
  6. This data policy doesn’t apply for those stations which are established outside MNRE program. For data from such stations, special permission is to be obtained from the sponsors of the stations (Ex. MEDA SRRA stations). For data for such stations, sponsors may charge for data and the charges as per their policy are to be remitted directly to the sponsor’s account.
  7. The details of newly added SRRA stations funded by Govt. of India data and client sponsored will be uploaded regularly.