Benefits-Driven Energy Market Management Software for BAs.

We recently had a chat with Mehdi Assadian, one of the best minds when it comes to designing sophisticated systems like the western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM). Mehdi’s insight and experience in leading the development of ISO/RTO systems, is foundational to his stance on issues that are important to anyone looking to get involved in the Western EIM. The following is the first installment in a series of blog posts from Mr. Assadian. Stay tuned.
Question to Mehdi Assadian: Mehdi, given your deep and far-reaching experience as an advanced software engineer for the energy industry and having led the design and implementation of the SPP IM, ERCOT Nodal and CAISO MRTU markets, how important is an energy market management software to entities of the Western EIM?
This is a great question because without an advanced energy market management software, a Balancing Authority (BA)—especially one participating in an Energy Imbalance Market—is very likely going to fail. There’s absolutely no way a BA can participate in an EIM without the sophisticated automation provided by an Energy Market Management (EMM) software system like OATI webEIM, designed specifically for use in the Western EIM. To better appreciate the value of EMM software to the integrated operations of BAs, you have to first understand the challenges BAs face when they join the Western EIM.
Before joining an EIM, BAs mostly rely on bilateral power contracts instead of a dynamic real-time energy market. They also don’t have the flexibility and dynamism to seamlessly respond to system imbalances or congestion. By joining the Western EIM, they become part of an extended network, take on new complex responsibilities as outlined in CAISO Fifth Replacement Electronic Tariff, and ensure compliance with the exacting market standard operating procedures, while maintaining autonomy over their Balancing Authority Areas (BAAs). What this means is that as EIM Entities, BAs have to provide coordination of their area’s loads, resources, and Transmission Service Providers (TSPs), in addition to maintaining system wide reliability and resiliency of their transmission systems, compliance, reserves, and capacity requirements as needed. Since all load and generational imbalances with their BAAs will now settle through the Western EIM, BAs are responsible for accurate reporting to the stakeholders within their areas.
Given this operational and jurisdictional complexity, not to mention the sheer volume of data requirements and the absolute need for timeliness, BAs need a proven energy market management system that is responsive to their primary stakeholders—their customers who demand reliable, cost-effective power; the external stakeholders or BAs—who rely on accurately reported data to make decisions; and the EIM system operator—who uses advanced automation to seamlessly match bulk power demand with the least-cost generation every 15 minutes, and initiates dispatch instructions every 5 minutes to auto selected resources that are instantly available to resolve fluctuations.
Here’s a short video in which I talk about the importance of automation in the Western EIM.

Stay tuned for more in-depth discussion of the Western EIM from Mehdi Assadian in the next installment.

About the Author:
Mehdi Assadian, Principal Consultant Market Systems, OATI
Mehdi Assadian has more than 30 years of experience as an engineer and software developer for the energy industry. As Principal Consultant, Market Systems at OATI, Mr. Assadian has led the design and implementation of the Southwest Power Pool Integrated Market (SPP IM), ERCOT Nodal and CAISO MRTU markets front office, and shadow settlement system applications for OATI’s deal capture tool, webTrader. Previously, Mr. Assadian led similar initiatives and was involved in the ERCOT Nodal and CAISO MRTU markets’ own applications as technical consultant to such markets. More recently, Mr. Assadian has led the design and implementation of CAISO EIM, CAISO sub-hourly scheduling (FERC Order 764), and Transaction base scheduling for OATI applications. Mr. Assadian is also involved in OATI’s front office and shadow settlement applications to support the CAISO EIM market for CAISO and NVE market participants. Mr. Assadian’s broad experience includes research, design, development, testing, simulation modeling, case studies, and analytical support for numerous projects within the energy industry. Mr. Assadian holds an MSEE with honor degree from Ohio State University.