Photovoltaic power has great volatility and intermittency due to environmental factors. Forecasting photovoltaic power is of great significance to ensure the safe and economical operation of distribution network. This paper proposes a novel approach to forecast short-term photovoltaic power based on a gated recurrent unit (GRU) network. Firstly, the Pearson coefficient is used to extract the main features that affect photovoltaic power output at the next moment, and qualitatively analyze the relationship between the historical photovoltaic power and the future photovoltaic power output. Secondly, the K-means method is utilized to divide training sets into several groups based on the similarities of each feature, and then GRU network training is applied to each group. The output of each GRU network is averaged to obtain the photovoltaic power output at the next moment. The case study shows that the proposed approach can effectively consider the influence of features and historical photovoltaic power on the future photovoltaic power output, and has higher accuracy than the traditional methods.
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