Where does the Wiki-Solar Database get its information?
We collect data from a wide range of sources. The main ones are described below.
Some agencies maintain and routinely publish data on projects which include large-scale solar power generation. The main such sources are listed on the right.
We regularly receive information from these sources and gather details of new or updated projects.
Major industry players
We collaborate with many of the major participants in the sector listed in the pages in this section. They provide us periodically with lists of their qualifying projects, or have a comprehensive references section in their websites.
Other project participants
Companies involved in individual projects are encouraged to keep us informed by using our simple on-line notification facilities for new projects and plant updates.
Press and media reports
We use software to track online media comment about utility-scale solar installations and projects.
Official program announcements
Some official agencies, who no not maintain project information in real time (as described above and on the right) do make periodic announcements about specific programs, and provide lists of participating projects. This includes, for example, India's Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission and South Africa's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme.
Other listing sources
Others periodically list the leading solar power projects. This article in Wikipedia, for example was helpful in our early days, but now tends to follow Wiki-Solar.
Validating the data
Collecting the data is often the easy part. We then need to undertake a substantial vetting exercise to establish which projects are sufficiently concrete to meet our criteria. We also need extensive duplication checking because many projects are obtained through several of the above channels, not always using the same name or details; and we need to ensure that we do not list the same project more than once.
We apply consistency-checking to ensure that key data, such as rated power capacity and site area, are not incompatible with other nearby projects.Wider tolerances are accepted on parameters such as annual output, carbon savings and households served; because sources use a variety of algorythms to derive these figures, and they can be affected by factors such as tracking and site shading. We do not unilaterally modify received data without compelling reasons or evidence.
The site coordinates may be estimated based on the reported project location, and are validated using satellite imagery where possible. Where such images are available, we may recalculate site area, as indicated in accordance with this location data.
How 'fresh' is the data?
The Wiki-Solar Database is updated in real time against public announcements, and regularly against official sources. All marketplace outputs incorporate the latest data at the time they are produced.
The maps are updated whenever there have been a significant number of new or updated projects. This means typically every 2-4 weeks.