I Like It! to Idea WattTime Impact API
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WattTime Impact API

The environmental impact of electricity varies in real time throughout the day. Ever wanted to know the carbon footprint of your electricity, right here, right now? Or which times of day are usually cleaner than others? The voters in Contest #1 did when they selected Green Energy Tracker as the "Popular Choice" winner (http://energychallenge.energy.gov/a/dtd/Green-Energy-Tracker/12606-26122). And it turns out that for most parts of the US, the data to answer these kind of questions are freely and openly available! Yet because these data are scattered in wildly different formats across a variety of obscure sources, software developers haven't leveraged that open data to create apps that would help homeowners use energy from sources they believe in, help organizations meet sustainability targets, or help analysts interpret grid integration challenges as they emerge.

WattTime Impact API standardizes this information to empower app developers to build cool tools that make real-time electricity data accessible, exciting, and actionable. It's also useful for smart grid analysts who want a single portal that provides energy cleanliness data in a simple, queryable, standardized format.

Specifically, the WattTime Impact API is a RESTful JSON API to all of the best available real-time electricity generation data across the USA. We get the data straight from the sources: the ISO/RTO-like entities MISO, PJM, ISONE, CAISO, ERCOT, SPP, and BPA. The data set covers 2/3 of US consumers, has 5-minute to hourly time resolution, and provides this hour's real-time data in all regions except one (SPP). At the time of submission, every time-stamped data point includes a breakdown of the electricity generation by fuel source (X MW from wind, Y MW from coal, etc.) and an estimated total carbon emissions intensity based on combining the generation mix with EIA data; more data types will be included in the future. The API also has endpoints that allow users to access metadata about fuels and ISOs, and filters that allow users to get exactly the data points they want.

In addition to supporting app development, the WattTime Impact API website is a feature-rich app in its own right because includes everything a developer or analyst would need to get started:

* a map that shows the most recent data from all the real-time data feeds across the US (http://api.watttime.org/map/)

* interactive documentation that lets users "try before they buy" (http://api.watttime.org/api/v1/docs/)

* detailed FAQ that explains the data sources to non-experts (http://api.watttime.org/)

* contact info for the API developer team and user group (http://api.watttime.org/contact/)

WattTime Impact API is used in this submission:

http://energychallenge.energy.gov/a/dtd/UseGreenEnergy-Today/53040-26122

Submitted by Anna Schneider 5 months ago

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Comments (4)

  1. What a great resource! This will be very helpful in charging electric vehicles or running other loads when wind power is peaking in California.

    5 months ago
    2 Agreed
  2. Way to go, WattTime! The API seems well-structured and interface to begin using it is very slick.

    5 months ago
    2 Agreed
    1. Anna Schneider Idea Submitter

      Thanks Reid! I just pulled the parsers into a separate repo at https://github.com/WattTime/pyiso if you're still interested in using and/or contributing to them.

      5 months ago
      0 Agreed
  3. Go WattTime, go! This is a great idea!

    5 months ago
    0 Agreed