Combining all your renewable production assets in one portfolio can be very rewarding. Realizing that the individual assets complement each other is a first step towards a unified solution, where the combination of assets creates a whole, greater than the sum of its parts. Powel helps you combine your energy types in one advanced portfolio management solution tailored to your needs.
Inelastic price taker in a deterministic world?
If you are price-insensitive, this solution may not suit you. Then there is nothing that connects the different types of generation in your power system. You can then bid into the markets independently, and in such a way that the optimal production plans for the known prices are realised. But if the price is unknown when you bid into the market, and you experience varying degrees of reservoir inflow, thermal, wind and sun availability, then you should be interested in coordinating your production among all available assets.
Making the right decision in the short term......
When bidding the power into the different markets, there is no link between the bids for different hours (barring block bids). However, costs (e.g. thermal start costs) and water supply are coupled in time. Therefore, price-dependent bids benefit from coordinating generation assets.
Once you have a contractual obligation to deliver power or ancillary services to the market, the assets in your portfolio; hydro, thermal, wind and sun, are no longer independent. How should the production system respond to an unexpected event such as forecast error, unit malfunction or lack of water? How can you capture opportunities in the intra-day markets?
Hydropower has high availability, can be quickly changed and can be used as energy storage, smoothing out variations in thermal availability, and in wind and solar production.
…...and in the long term
Hydro generation is cheap but limited. By storing water in reservoirs, you can gain some freedom in when to use the water. To assess the cost of using water for power production today, you need some evaluation of the alternative future use. This is provided by the water values, usually obtained from a seasonal optimisation model. This is used as input to the short-term optimisation, as an evaluation of the water left at the end of the planning horizon.
Dynamics and uncertainty
Production planning in a power system is a dynamic and uncertain decision challenge. Often it is high-dimensional, with production decisions for all units and all hours in the planning horizon. Constraints such as efficiency curves, ramping, and water course jurisdictions make it even more complex. Even planning the production of each of the generation assets by themselves is challenging. How can you then coordinate them?
Fortunately, modern optimisation techniques come to the rescue. By modelling a power system mathematically, and using state-of-the art optimisation engines, you are able to calculate near-optimal production plans, automating planning and incorporating all the complexities.
The user can concentrate on providing input data, validating the results and implementing the optimal solutions.
The Powel Solution
Powel offers an integrated planning solution, backed by a high-performance time-series database, and fronting a modern process-oriented user interface. A suite of planning tasks for different time horizons is available, and is seamlessly interconnected. Information from longer time horizons gives input to shorter horizons as sensitivities and/ or boundary conditions. Using integrated optimisation models, generation assets can be planned in concert, giving the overall globally optimal solution.