The EIM will launch the most significant geographical expansion of the Western energy markets since the launch of CAISO back in ’97

The California ISO’s Energy Imbalance Market is Closer Than You Think!
With the CAISO FERC 764 market changes now in the rearview mirror, we can all draw a deep breath and look forward to the next big thing: the CAISO Energy Imbalance Market, aka the EIM. The EIM will launch the most significant geographical expansion of the Western energy markets since the launch of CAISO back in ’97.
Cal ISO looks to gain a more flexible portfolio of real time energy resources to augment the increasingly diverse, and increasingly renewable, resources within the state. External entities such as inaugural EIM participant PacifiCorp hope to gain added flexibility as well, including the ability to buy and sell energy in the real time energy markets and across area boundaries in a much more dynamic manner than in the past. The idea is that by increasing the overall fleet of available resources to (ideally) include much of the Western Interconnect, regional variations in load and generation will tend to cancel out across the area, keeping prices down and enhancing reliability. Many of the stakeholders will be watching this market launch very closely.
At EnDimensions, we have been tracking the evolution of the market structures and tariff provisions very closely. Having met the challenges of the FERC 764 changes with timely revisions to our EnSuite settlement and analytic products, we are now tooling up for a smooth transition to EIM! The EIM market will bring new requirements for scheduling and settlements, including new charges and changes to existing charges that our shadow settlement and analytics modules will respond to with aplomb. In addition, new EIM participants will find that the EnSuite Settlements products, together with expertise of our market experts, will provide for a clean and easy transition for those wishing to enter the market.

Modularity and Configurability Make for a Smooth FERC 764 Transition

As the driving force behind more than 40% of the energy transacted in the California ISO Markets, it was critical to PG&E to maintain the continuity and availability of their settlement and market analytic software through the transition to the FERC-Mandated Fifteen Minute market, or FMM. Fortunately, EnSuite by EnDimensions was built from the ground up with just such customers in mind.  EnSuite’s modular, configuration-driven design meant that the transition from 10-minute to 5-minute settlement intervals, the launch of six new charge codes and the revamp of CAISO’s market APIs was handled smoothly and without a major code redesign.

The transition was completed without a service outage and with minimal disruption to normal business processes. Shadow calculations for the new charge codes were implemented with an updated configuration pack, which implemented shadow calculations for the new charge codes and reconfigured the settlement interval from ten to five minutes.  APIs were updated similarly, with interfaces and data templates modified without a service interruption, while preserving backward compatibility for legacy data.

With the close of the FERC 764 upgrades, we now look forward to another smooth upgrade path in support of the Energy Imbalance Market (EIM), slated to launch in Fall of 2014. By planning and building for availability, flexibility and configurability, EnDimensions has created a product suite that handles 21st century energy markets in stride!

EnDimensions Experts to Teach FERC EQR Redesign EUCI Course, June 12-13, 2013, St. Louis, MO

FERC EQR Redesign

EnDimensions experts will conduct a two-day training course hosted by EUCI in St. Louis, MO, June 12-13, 2013.

This program will address the proposed FERC EQR redesign — FERC Orders 768 and 770 — currently targeted to go live in Q3, 2013 based on the latest information from FERC.

Topics will include:

  • Regulatory Changes with FERC Orders 768 and 770
  • Public Power Applicability
  • New Data Requirements with FERC Orders 768 and 770
  • It Infrastructure and Software Requirements
  • ISO Role in Facilitating FERC EQR Filing

The course will provide perspectives on the new requirement that span IT, legal, software, public power, and ISO implementation measures.

For more information and to register for this course, please visit EUCI webpage.

Three “V”s of Big Data – Volume, Velocity, Variability

distributechIf your attended Distributech in San Diego this year, you couldn’t miss the huge Oracle banner draped across the Marriott hotel next to the convention center at Distributech 2012 his year.  Add to this a small Oracle city on the vendor floor, and it is clear that the major vendors see continuing heavy growth in the database applications for energy utilities.

But the buzz in Big Data is not about Oracle, or IBP or SAP.  A whole raft of upstarts are appearing, seemingly out of nowhere, offering to spin huge amounts of loosely structured data into operational and marketing gold.  Most of the new folks are built on one flavor or another of Hadoop, touting the NoSQL, massivlely parallel approach to grinding through large data sets. But does a migration to NoSQL database architecture make sense in a utility context?

Today’s relational databases running on modern hardware are extraordinarily capable, tried-and-true platforms.  They do what they were designed to do very well, and a well-designed RDB installation will handle all the terabytes you can throw at it.  Notice I said well-designed.  Additionally, for those already managing large datasets, staging on a relational database means there is no re-training overhead and less technical risk involved in launching new infrastructure.

But even the major RDB players are offering NoSQL products these days, so if the Big in Big Data isn’t just data volume, what is it, and when do you need it?  Consider the three “V”s of Big Data – Volume, Velocity and Variability.  If you are looking for an ad hoc way to combine loosely-structured data from a range of disparate sources in order to pick off the best candidates for an energy efficiency incentive program, the variability of data is high, both in structure and content.  If you are monitoring system conditions and real time data streams to send out energy alerts to customer smartphones, the velocity is high. These are natural applications for NoSQL infrastructure.

On the other hand, if the data set is large but structured. as in energy market and settlement data, operational or even meter data, then a well-designed relational database is the better solution.  An RDB is more well-suited to the types of financial analytics, reporting and other functions that this type of data supports, and because the structure is consistent, these operations can be optimized to provide excellent performance.  Layer on a configurable computational engine and you have a decision support system that can run a wide range of sophisticated analysis with responsive performance over huge data sets, while maintaining full SOX auditability and reproducibility.  As with so many things, it’s a matter of choosing the technology that is appropriate for the task.