Journal article Open Access

Privacy-preserving Distributed Learning for Renewable Energy Forecasting

Carla Gonçalves; Ricardo Bessa; Pierre Pinson

Data exchange between multiple renewable energy power plant owners can lead to an improvement in forecast skill thanks to the spatio-temporal dependencies in time series data. However, owing to business competitive factors, these different owners might be unwilling to share their data. In order to tackle this privacy issue, this paper formulates a novel privacy-preserving framework that combines data transformation techniques with the alternating direction method of multipliers. This approach allows not only to estimate the model in a distributed fashion but also to protect data privacy, coefficients and covariance matrix. Besides, asynchronous communication between peers is addressed in the model fitting, and two different collaborative schemes are considered: centralized and peer-to-peer. The results for a solar energy dataset show that the proposed method is robust to privacy breaches and communication failures, and delivers a forecast skill comparable to a model without privacy protection.

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