Solar Irradiance Nowcasting Case Studies Near Sacramento

Check out the article, “Solar Irradiance Nowcasting Case Studies Near Sacramento” to learn about the solar power forecasting system, designed to predict solar irradiance and power generation at solar farms.

The system is comprised of several component models operating on both the nowcasting and day-ahead forecast horizons. The different nowcasting models include a statistical forecasting model, two satellite-based forecasting models, and a numerical weather prediction model. It is important to better understand and assess the strengths and weaknesses of these short-range models in order to facilitate further improvements.

Tyler McCandless, co-author of the article and Project Manager here at Ascend, helped write the paper from his dissertation research. The paper has been published in the Journal of Applied Meteorology & Climatology.

Click Here to Read the Article!

Fundamentals of Integrated Resource Design Plans

On October 17-18, Dr. Gary Dorris, CEO & Co-Founder of Ascend Analytics will be teaching a course on the Fundamentals of Integrated Resource Design Plans. The course will take place at the SCPPA (Southern California Public Power Authority) offices in Glendora, CA and is open to members of SCPPA. As of now, 30+ registered members have already signed up for the course!

Much of the course content will focus on California Senate Bill 350 “Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015”. To summarize, this legislation requires that California is producing 50% of its electricity from renewables by the year 2030. For more information and course details, please click here!


Best Practices in Portfolio Hedging for Utilities

Ascend Analytics welcomes you to attend the “Best Practices in Portfolio Hedging for Utilities” course on October 6-7, 2016 taking place in Chicago, IL. This 2-day course provides a hands-on experience that will walk attendees through exercises on portfolio hedging for real utility portfolios. You will learn the steps and techniques necessary to effectively manage portfolio positions, adhere to budgets and risk limits, and to optimize operations.

For course details, registration information, and to download the official brochure, click here!

Gas & Power Hedging and Risk Management for Utilities

Join Dr. Carlos Blanco, Ascend’s Managing Director of Analytic Solutions, on September 19-20, 2016 for a comprehensive training session on gas and power hedging and risk management for utilities in an applied context.

The course will enable participants to gain a practical working knowledge of gas and power markets, their main players and common traded instruments. Delegates will gain a practical understanding of the various dimensions of risk for utilities active in gas and power markets and the various tools to manage and transfer those risks.

Click Here for Event Details

Synopsis of the Ascend Best Practices & User Summit

On May 2 thru 4th 2016, Ascend Analytics held its Portfolio Management, Best Practices and User Summit on the PowerSimm software suite. More than 40 attendees spent this time in beautiful Boulder, Colorado sharing best practices, experiences and knowledge on how they have used PowerSimm to add value via meaningful uncertainty to their utility and municipal operations, portfolio management and planning decisions. The presenters and panel discussion members included the following:

  • Ascend Analytics – Gary Dorris, CEO – Hedge Strategies and Applications Workshop. In this session Gary covered key distinctive attributes of PowerSimm with regard to hedging strategies.
  • TVA- Eric Hummel, Risk Manager – Mastering Uncertainty as a Tool for Better Decision Analysis. Eric shared 3 examples of how PowerSimm is adding value to TVA in PPA’s, Commodity Contracting and Portfolio Risk Reporting.
  • AEP – John Kinateder, Director, Market Risk Analytics- Ensuring Hedge Optimization. John’s many years of experience helped the crowd better understand how to use PowerSimm to evaluate different hedge strategies.
  • Duke Energy – Pedram Mohseni, Lead Qualitative Analyst, Fuels & Systems Optimization – Adopting Solar in an Uncertain Regulatory Environment. Pedram shared about how Duke Energy is considering risk with regard to solar integration.
  • Ascend Analytics – Sean Burrows, CTO– Data Reporting, Visualization and Management Metrics. Sean showed users some of the improvements and updates that have been made and are coming to PowerSimm and the User Interface(U/I).
  • AES – Viktor Stafiychuk, Risk Manager – Global Portfolio Management, Case Study.   Viktor presented the AES global portfolio and a pilot study on the application of simulation to analyze illiquid markets.
  • Dayton Power & Light (DP&L) – Scott Wrigglesworth, Associate Director, Commercial Portfolio Analytics – Optimizing Short Term Operations Decisions. In this session, Scott demonstrated how DP&L has used PowerSimm to maximize revenue via trading, hedging and risk mitigation.
  • Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) – Herve Touati, Managing Director – Utility Investment Planning under Variable Renewable Energy Sources. Herve shared RMI’s global view of renewable expansion and valuation.
  • Ernst & Young – Thomas Lord, Executive Director, Commodity Markets – Fuel Commodity Management Under Volatile Supply Conditions. Thomas spoke candidly on the good, the bad and the ugly of commodity hedging.
  • Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) – Scott Lesch, Resource Manager – Use of Ascend Reports for Resource Planning & Energy Risk Management.   Scott took some time to share how RPU is using PowerSimm to share information internally and externally and to make informed decisions.
  • RES Americas – Patrick Leslie, Energy Storage Manager – RES Energy Storage Solutions. In this presentation, Patrick shared details on RES’s twelve energy storage projects across the USA and some study cases on storage project valuation.
  • American Power Net – Bruce Sher, VP National Accounts – Innovations in Predictive Analysis. Bruce shared some insights on energy storage deployment methodologies and rationalization.

The event culminated with a training session for all users and levels of expertise. The summit was a great professional experience for PowerSimm users who came away with an improved knowledge of how to add value to their business via PowerSimm. We at Ascend really appreciated the chance to meet many of our users in discussion sessions, presentations, the training day and after hour events. We look forward to next year’s event, and to staying in touch to help meet your analytical business needs with PowerSimm.

If you would like more information on this or future events, please fill out a contact request form on Ascend’s website specifying the information you are seeking. If you would like a copy of a specific presentation listed above, please contact Beau Demmler at

An Evaluation of Customer-Optimized Distributed Generation in New England Utility and Real-Time Markets

The full worth of distributed generation systems must be measured not only by the impact on the customer, but also by DG’s impact on the grid and surrounding market participants.  A case study comparing customer incentives created by utility rates with the real-time prices market in New England provides a new model to quantify the value of customer peak shaving with distributed generation technologies.  Read more from Ray C. Duthu, our Senior Energy Analyst/Consultant at Ascend Analytics.

Click here to read more

Dr. Gary Dorris, Ascend Analytics’ CEO, presented ‘Unlocking the Latent Value of Flexible Generation and Drive Additional Profits’ at Infocast’s PJM Market Summit 2015.

The presentation focused on the changes in PJM supply fundamentals that are creating new price dynamics and opportunities for flexible generation.  Realizing opportunities to profit from real-time price volatility requires an understanding of price dynamics beyond traditional production costing.  The new paradigm to realize opportunity combines granular asset modeling at 5 minute time-steps with behavioral dynamics of agent response and system fundamentals.  In order to unlock the latent value of generation and drive additional profits, the presentation outlined how to:

  • Understand what are the fundamental drivers creating new price dynamics
  • Visualize price dynamics with geo-spatial plots that identify opportunities
  • Capture additional value through quantifying risk arbitrage opportunities in a hybrid modeling framework
  • Learn what technologies stand to profit the most from these changes.