Vaisala Ships First Units of SP-12 Solar Weather Station

Solar panels on a utility-scale solar project
Naomi Stringfield
Marketing Manager
Published: Feb 8, 2017
Wind and Solar Energy 

Turn-key solar measurement solution completes our integrated solar services, offering developers, operators and engineers a single provider for bankable solar assessment, monitoring and data services

Vaisala has launched a new, ready-to-install solar weather station that provides all of the instrumentation required by solar project developers, operators and their engineering teams for best practice resource assessment and monitoring. The SP-12 Solar Weather Station, which has already been successfully deployed at multiple locations across the U.S. and Canada, completes our platform of end-to-end solar project development, asset and portfolio management services.

SP-12 solar weather station for utility-scale solar measurement

Hear what customers are saying about the new station:

"Vaisala offers a cost-competitive package for both the weather stations and tuning of satellite-derived irradiance data," said Jeffrey Webber, Development Engineer at Cypress Creek Renewables, a U.S project developer and operator and an early adopter of the SP-12 Solar Weather Station who saw the value of working with a single provider for all solar resource assessment needs.

"Based on our previous experience with Vaisala 3TIER services and Vaisala's reputation for weather measurement technology, we trusted the business as a one-stop shop for resource assessment. The installation process for our first two units went very smoothly, the stations are user-friendly to maintain, and we've been quite happy with the quality of the data. So much so that we are looking to install another unit very soon."

Reduce uncertainty with the "gold standard" in resource assessment:

As the global solar sector matures and seeks to increase cost-competitiveness, developers, operators and an evolving investor base are placing growing scrutiny on energy uncertainty to appropriately manage project risk. For prospective and operational solar sites, adding reliable ground-based measurements to the long-term records provided by sophisticated weather models is essential for making bankable production estimates and operational decisions that impact project revenue. We provide a unique perspective to the market with its ability to provide both ground measurements and modeled data analysis.

"The key to achieving the 'gold standard' of bankable resource data lies in combining the long-term variability record provided by satellite models with the micro-climate context of the project site," said Gwendalyn Bender, Head of Solar Product Development at Vaisala. "In practice, this means investing equally in both modeling 'software' and measurement 'hardware' - and that's what Vaisala has done with the launch of SP-12."

Product features and specifications:

The SP-12 Solar Weather Station, available in multiple configurations, measures the full range of environmental parameters that affect solar project performance. The station, mounted on a 2-meter tower and booms, combines industry-leading Kipp & Zonen pyranometers with our next-generation WXT536 multi-weather sensor, capable of measuring wind speed and direction, ambient temperature, humidity, pressure and rainfall. An integrated thermistor assesses panel temperature for determining thermal losses.

These measurements are collected and relayed by our Nomad 3 Data Logger, a rugged and reliable device that provides real-time remote access to site data by means of our SkyServe web platform, FTP and SCADA integration.

The weather station is easy to install and configure and has low power requirements, standing up to the demands of long-term development and operational measurement campaigns in harsh climates and remote regions. In conjunction with Vaisala's Solar Time Series Tools, the SP-12 station fulfills the equipment requirements of project developers, owners and engineers for tackling resource uncertainty throughout the project lifecycle.

A full specification sheet for the SP-12 Solar Weather Station is available here. For further information about how SP-12 fits into our platform of solar assessment and measurement services, please visit

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