Senior Research Associate in Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, University at Albany, State University of New York

Richard Perez is a research professor at the University at Albany's Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, where he directs applied research and teaches in the fields of solar radiation, and solar energy applications, and daylighting.

Well know in the solar energy field, Mr. Perez's contributions include Institute-funded research into the cost of mitigating PV output ramps using short-term energy buffers; identifying the potential of photovoltaic power generation to meet the electrical power demand of large cities in nontraditional solar regions such as the northeastern United States; and the development solar radiation models which have been incorporated in standard solar energy and daylighting calculation practice around the world.

Mr. Perez has produced over 200 journal articles, conference papers and technical reports, and holds two US patents on methods of load management using photovoltaics. He has received several international awards including a Certificate for Outstanding Research from the US Department of Energy, Best Published Article from the International Solar Energy Society, and the American Solar Energy Society's highest award, the Charles Greeley Abbot Award.

Mr. Perez earned a MA and PhD in atmospheric sciences from the University of Paris and SUNY-Albany, and earned an undergraduate degree in electrotechnics from the University of Nice, France.

Research Interests
Solar Energy Resource assessment
Because the weather is the main driver of solar energy technologies, it is important to characterize and to quantify the influences of climate and weather on the solar resource. We have developed approaches to utilize the imagery from weather satellites to infer the amount of solar energy available at any point in time and space. We have used this capability to produce solar resource maps for the US and several other countries, and to provide operational data for solar system output quality control.

Evaluating the impact of solar energy systems on utility power grids
The resource information developed above can be used effectively to simulate the operation of solar power plants and to gauge their impact on utility grids' power flow. An important application of this is to detect, quantify and monitor the capability of dispersed photovoltaic systems to help utilities meet their peak demand requirements and to minimize the risks of power outages.


  • –present
    Senior Research Associate in Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, University at Albany, State University of New York