Achieving Operational Optimization in the Western EIM

In this second installment of blog posts from Mr. Assadian, we asked him for a candid review of how webEIM, the OATI flagship software solution for the Western EIM, is helping the different players in this market achieve their business objectives.
Mehdi Assadian’s Response: Let me start by saying that we are very satisfied with the outstanding performance that our software has shown since deployment. But don’t take my word for it. You only have to look at the savings that NV Energy (one of our customers) has been achieving since becoming a full market participant. In 2016, NV Energy’s first full year of participation, they exceeded their annual goal of $5.1 million by more than 100%—their cumulative benefits for the year was $15.57 million. What this shows is that OATI is actually helping Western EIM market participants  achieve their business goals. Data does not lie. Now, let’s look at how we’ve been able to do this.
In order to fully examine how the OATI western EIM software is serving market participants, it is important to also understand what I call the OATI story. This is a sort of brief background of our mission and philosophy, and how that shaped the reasoning behind the engineering of OATI webEIM. As a company founded on a principle that our customers are the heart of everything we do—from product design to delivery and every other micro-moment in our development process—we, therefore, took a step back and looked at the challenges this relatively new market posed to market participants. Using our deep understanding of the energy industry, we were able to identify the different needs of the different stakeholders and then designed an end-to-end solution that sits on an advanced automation engine. This approach was critical because software automation is the cornerstone of the Western EIM. Without automation, as I stated in the video I shared in the previous blog post, the transmission operator and merchant operator would simply be overwhelmed by the mega data that have to be exchanged. 
As an advanced energy market management system, designed specifically for the Western EIM, this solution provides operational optimization that yields immense benefits for both BAs and merchant generators. This includes the management of generation and Inter-Tie Base Schedule submittal and retrieval, management of participating resource bids submitted and awards retrieved, resource outage management, an advanced Shadow Settlement Engine, market awards tracking, and more.
For BAs, the convenient, easy-to-use interfaces of webEIM allow for a one-stop platform through which they can upload all required EIM data and download information from the market operator, as well as conduct base schedule pre-validation using the Western EIM resource sufficiency tests. More importantly, OATI webEIM provides process and workflow automation tools, including bulk copying and submission of base schedules and offers over multiple days with complete audit trails to track the history of each transaction.
What further makes this system a standalone solution for BAs is its efficient and concise billing processes. OATI webEIM supplies the required data to the billing system of the BA’s customers for their portion of the EIM settlement fees. This intuitive application uses configurable charge code definitions, allowing for quick updates following any Western EIM settlement rule changes.
One of the questions participating resources ask is how to offer their generation? What OATI webEIM does is streamline the process of offering a resource capacity in the EIM by providing a portfolio of analytical tools. This capability helps participating resources decide which part of their resource capacity to offer into the EIM and which portion to self-schedule for other services.
Non-participating resources have their own set of challenges within the Western EIM. These resources are expected to submit correct resource schedules. This is a major issue for participants because it can result in unintentional penalties and charges. OATI webEIM combats these problems by providing tools that ensure accurate resource balancing. Our proven settlement dispute mechanism ensures accurate and timely logging of settlement statement disputes.
One of the major benefits of OATI webEIM to market participants is its shadow settlement engine. Confirming that settlement statements are correct is of great concern to participants. OATI webEIM provides a number of charge type verification and shadow settlement tools that allow participating resources to verify if a statement is correct, thus removing problematic issues. From a single screen, participating resources can easily compare meter data to their Western EIM billing determinant data to ensure the utmost financial accuracy. If a settlement is found to be incorrect, OATI webEIM presents the framework in which to dispute settlement statements, thereby ensuring they only pay what they owe and receive full amounts due.
For BAs who are still wondering whether the Western EIM is right for them, here’s a short video in which I talk specifically about the benefits of 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.