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How Utilities Can Make Better Operational Decisions Leveraging Wholesale Power Market Data

Initially presented at Utility Analytics Week, October 18-22, 2022, in San Diego

Utilities and Power Market Data

Utilities leverage wholesale power market data in various business decisions. Wholesale power market data can inform how to buy and sell power, decide which plants to turn on, effectively hedge generation assets and load, manage congestion, prevent revenue loss, and plan and recover from outages as quickly as possible. As such, power market data is a critical piece in the utility data ecosystem.

Locational Marginal Price

Utilities deal with power market data whether they are dispatching their fleet or serving load. Locational marginal price (LMP) is the system-wide energy price plus or minus any local congestion (i.e., cost associated with local supply and demand imbalances), and less any transmission losses. LMPs reflect the value of wholesale energy at different locations while accounting for local supply and demand conditions. As such, they are a critical input for utility decision making.

Utilities use this data to serve load in the most cost-effective manner. Most often, utilities use this data to decide whether to turn on local plants as needed, buy power from neighboring areas, and manage congestion on their part of the grid.

Power Market Data Sources

Wholesale power market data comes from a variety of sources, from independent system operators (ISOs) such as ERCOT, PJM, and SPP to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the National Weather Service (NWS), and the California Irrigation Management System (CIMIS). 

There's a lot of power market data available, from generation, load, forecast, and prices to transmission congestion, outages, fuels, tie flow, and of course, weather. Much of this data is publicly available but not easy to access and analyze. For example, ERCOT pricing data and PJM outage data are delivered in zip, CSV, and text files, which need to be cleaned and standardized before useful insight can be derived from them. This takes precious time and resources.

There's a lot of power market data out there

The sheer amount of data combined with the variability of data formats across platforms poses a unique challenge for utilities when it comes to collecting and managing data. Furthermore, much of this data is only available in real time as the data source does not always keep its historical data available. Historical data is key to understanding previous grid conditions for planning. Yes Energy maintains historical data including data revisions. Our tools allow grid planners and market participants to see exactly where constraints create high prices and act accordingly. This allows utilities to serve their load in the most cost-effective manner.

How to Access Power Market Data

Yes Energy collects prices, data, load, congestion, and transmission data information from all North American ISOs and many public data series – including the EIA and National Weather Service – as well as third-party partners and premium content.

North America's trusted power market data provider

We have teams of experts dedicated to collecting, cleaning, mapping, monitoring, and engineering data, allowing you to put your resources to your highest and best use. We standardize comprehensive data from all ISOs, non-ISOs, and third-party partnerships, as well as historical data. And we make this data available in the format best suited for your business, whether through our powerful user interface, an API, the cloud, or a data lake.

what Yes Energy does for you -- data > insight

At Yes Energy, we provide the most comprehensive, robust, and high-quality energy market data and analytic tools available, empowering utilities to confidently navigate wholesale power market data and maximize their bottom line.

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