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Case Studies

The Case: Simplify My Interface to the California ISO EIM

An existing PSO customer recently started participating in the CAISO EIM. As the owner of generation within the Balancing Area of several EIM scheduling coordinators, they faced the cumbersome process of manually entering generation schedules into the EIM via the Base Schedule Aggregation Portal (BSAP).

Scheduling generators in multiple EIM scheduling coordinator Balancing Areas was inefficient.

The VERA Solution:
The customer was able to quickly deploy VERA modules like the Communicator Client to cover their participation within different CAISO EIM Balancing Areas. The unique certificates plus username/passwords associated with each of their scheduling coordinator entities were programmed into VERA, enabling the customer to quickly create and submit schedules all from a single system. To close the loop, information submitted to EIM from VERA is queried back to the screen and any discrepancies between data submission and retrieval are captured and highlighted to expedite the resolution process.
The Case: Automating NERC E-Tag Assessments

A West-Coast based energy marketer with operations in several energy markets across the United States and Canada was dealing with redundant and tedious tasks associated with their NERC e-tag assessments.

The VERA Solution:
PSO’s VERA™ Suite of comprehensive energy market data management and visualization tools enabled the customer to streamline manual tasks involved in their NERC e-tag assessments. Opting for the cloud- hosted version of VERA, provided an opportunity to quickly address these challenges all while minimizing the impact to IT’s workload. Offloading repetitive and mundane tasks allows key personnel in supply/trading to pursue new opportunities and focus their attention on higher priority tasks.

  • VERA™ Suite seamlessly handles the data collection process associated with automated e-Tag assessments. Background communication requests with external data sources run periodically (i.e. 1-minute to daily intervals)
  • Users can develop company specific, complex business logic into the VERA Suite
  • Quickly identify data anomalies for further inspection
  • Auto Approve / Deny based on user defined parameters
The Case: Streamline our FERC EQR reporting, please!

A Houston based energy company with operations in several energy markets across the United States and Canada had several energy trading and energy market systems to interface in order to obtain data from which their FERC reportable transactions were stored. Their previous FERC reporting process required several different people in several different locations of the company to manually export data from these systems to create portions of the FERC EQR spreadsheets. Each person involved used different processes depending on the source system from which they were extracting the transactions. This process was very labor intensive and required hundreds of hours of manual validation and correction of data contained in the reports.

The VERA Solution:
By using VERA, in about four months the customer was able to completely automate the FERC EQR reporting functions. The manual FERC reporting process for the customer’s 23 reportable entities has been shifted to a completely automated process, streamlining the process and saving hundreds of person hours per month. As is so often true in the energy industry, contracts change over time, and the flexibility built into the VERA solution enables our customers to keep up with those changes by easily making necessary updates to their implementation.
The Case: We need an invoice for our new wind farm generation ASAP!

One VERA customer had a new wind farm achieve “Commercial Operation” at midnight on the Tuesday (11/26) before Thanksgiving. PSO had previously written a specification based on the power sales contract for this wind farm, but the go ahead to develop and implement the equations in VERA was not given until Wednesday afternoon (11/27). Contractual obligations require that the invoice for November be delivered by December 5th, only 8 calendar days (4 business days) later.

The VERA Solution:
PSO was able to incorporate the importation of the wind farm’s meter data into VERA DataLoader, use VERA SEEr to create the dozens of equations needed to calculate Firm and NonFirm, Off Peak, Peak, and Super Peak energy quantities and prices according to the provisions in the contract. By the following Tuesday evening (12/3 – just 3 business days later), we were able use the VERA Reporter to generate a custom designed, PDF-formatted invoice for the customer’s review, using the results of the VERA calculations. This enabled the customer to review and approve the invoice in time to meet the December 5th deadline.

Also in this same timeframe, we modified the PSO-developed Outage Entry web-site for the same wind farm to meet a new requirement that records whether an outage is planned or forced, and also updated it to include new turbines that had been added to the wind farm. This customer, as with all of our customers, enjoyed significant benefits from our expert consulting services that we provide along with VERA. This Case Study typifies our highly efficient process of building the equations and reports as an “Agile Implementation,” which is a step above and beyond “Agile Development.” By using an Agile Implementation methodology, the vast majority of the VERA work is done using our tools which enables us to provide results to our customers with unprecedented speed and accuracy, as well as producing reliable, accurate results. We have done this over and over with varying requirements for different customers in different markets.

The Case: Your calculations must be wrong, they can’t owe us $1 Million per year more…

During a VERA implementation Project, one of our customer’s subject matter experts (SME) was struggling to get the “right answer” for one of the provisions in a power sales contract. VERA was indicating a result the SME could not validate given the rules he believed were in place for the contract.

The VERA Solution:
A PSO consultant reviewed the contract and the VERA calculations and showed the customer how the calculations were, in fact, correct, based on the specifications in the contract. After consulting other members of the customer’s team and reviewing the contract language, the customer brought this to the attention of their counterparty. After a joint review, both parties agreed that the way the contract was written and implemented was not how it was agreed upon during contract negotiations. The parties also agreed to “make it right” going forward. Without VERA this issue may not have ever been uncovered. The customer now enjoys an average savings of over $1 Million per year going forward through the use of VERA.
The Case: Our meter measurements don’t agree with the ISO, and we don’t know how much revenue we might be losing…

A PSO customer using VERA knew that, historically, meter data from one of their power plants which is sent to the Independent System Operator (ISO), was sometimes inaccurately reported in the ISO’s systems.  The customer already had a tool to shadow settle with the ISO, but it did not take into account the peculiarities of this power plant, and thus did not allow them to track these metering inaccuracies. More importantly however, there wasn’t a way to provide a monetary value to the variances associated with this problem.  If it was only a few dollars one way or the other, it was not worth disputing, but customer knew at times it was much more significant, and at the same time not something they were able to manage in an Excel spreadsheet.

The VERA Solution:
To address the problem, a PSO consultant built a “validation” equation in VERA that compared the metered values at the power plant with those the ISO reported, and then applied the Location Marginal Prices (which took into account that 2 units in the plant could potentially have different prices) and reported on the monetary value of the meter variances.  A couple months after putting the validation equation in production, the customer called and asked PSO to double check the equation, data and results, as VERA showed they would recoup approximately $300K that month by disputing and correcting the ISO’s metered values. PSO validated the customer’s findings allowing them to recoup those funds as well as significant future revenue for that plant that could have been lost due to meter variances.