Like the second child whose adolescence is eased by the older sibling who tested parental limits, solar energy developers\u2019 path to better integrating their units output into the state grid was smoothed by the wind industry. In a January 29 solar-grid integration workshop, the California Independent System Operator staff said they were piggybacking on lessons learned from integrating wind energy resources into the state\u2019s transmission highway. At this week\u2019s meeting, CAISO staff, solar energy companies, utility representatives, and researchers took a first crack at getting a grip on power forecasts from photovoltaic and solar thermal power systems scheduled to feed the grid. Like with wind energy, key to better integration is improved forecasting of megawatts expected to be delivered. That assessment relies on short and long-term weather forecasts. \u201cThe higher quality the data, the better the forecasts,\u201d said Jim Blatchford, CAISO senior policy issues representative. He added that the grid operator strives to support solar power to help meet the state\u2019s renewable portfolio standard while avoiding grid management snafus. As with wind energy, key forecasting issues include estimates in the amount of deliverable MWs, outage information, and how to fill the gap for solar units that don\u2019t produce as expected because of a cloud layer or other variables. Qualifying wind and solar power deliveries come under the grid operator\u2019s Participating Intermittent Resource Program. Key issues are ensuring that any forecasting requirements are compatible with the various solar technologies, as well as understanding the diversity of the solar systems to facilitate accurate forecasts. Scheduling is expected to be an even more critical aspect of the CAISO\u2019s market overhaul, known as the MRTU. \u201cMRTU is all about scheduling,\u201d said Ali Amirali, with LS Power. He added that scheduled deliveries have to be maintained \u201cfor a few hours.\u201d There are two key solar power technologies, PV and solar thermal. Weather, in particular clouds, impact them differently. Solar thermal projects are able to store heat thus operate more evenly when the sun\u2019s rays are blocked.