Snow-loss evaluation for new projects in the Nordics

Reducing the financial risk of new large-scale projects through early assessment of snow losses based on historical data and accurate modelling.


A leading Nordic energy company requested PVRADAR's assistance to ensure the investment security of its project portfolio in a context of high snow loss risk. The deployment of Solar PV in cold climate regions presents significant challenges, where solar resources are limited and snow losses threaten the profitability and return on investment.

In the Nordic region, the snow season typically begins in early September and can be extended for as long as seven months. During this period, snow accumulates on top of the modules, blocking the passage of light and consequently impacting the power plant output.

Snow losses are influenced not only by snowfall, but also by the conditions favouring snow melting and shedding, such as temperature, wind and installation setup.


Early assessment of snow losses is crucial to determine the feasibility, best location and configuration of projects. PVRADAR's assessment defined the most likely snow losses at each site, allowing to take informed decisions towards minimizing the impact on project profitability.

The evaluation took into account 20 years of historical meteorological data and tested how the mounting configuration would affect the snow level. Using the widely employed MARION and TOWNSEND models, monthly loss factors and their equivalence in terms of actual energy lost were accurately estimated.

The results allowed the project developer to reduce the risk associated with the severe snow conditions in the region, ensuring profitability and securing the investment.