'Announcements' Category

Everything Old is New Again

As Energy Exemplar enters the closing stages of a project with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to deliver PLEXOS as an upgrade to the market system in the Australian NEM known as “MT PASA”, we come to realise the quintessential case of “Sooner or later, everything old is new again.”

The story of MT PASA and of how the outage optimization phase of PLEXOS got its name “PASA” goes back to 1997 when the Australian electricity market was a still a toddler. Glenn Drayton was working in New Zealand for an operations research consulting firm called Core Management Systems (CMS) and had just finished his Ph.D. thesis, focussed on electricity market design. Out of that work came the electricity market simulation software, WEMSIM (which would eventually become PLEXOS).

The key enabling technology inside WEMSIM was AMMO (ActiveX Mathematical Modelling Objects). This API connected Microsoft’s VBA to CPLEX, which meant that commercial grade mathematical programming could be easily integrated into any VBA-aware program like Excel. In hindsight, AMMO is the best idea Glenn claims to have come up with because today it underpins the PLEXOS engine.

CMS consultants like Dr E. Grant Read (inventor of dual dynamic programming and Glenn’s Ph.D. supervisor) and Brendan Ring (who studied at University of Canterbury with Glenn and today is one of the world’s leading experts in electricity market design) were involved in the design of the Australian NEM. A US firm called ESCA built the market software systems including the market clearing engine SPD (Scheduling, Pricing and Despatch), affectionately known as “spud” and later renamed to NEMDE.

ESCA was under pressure to deliver the market systems but were short on time, especially with implementing “MT PASA” (“Medium Term Projected Assessment of System Adequacy”). This report looked ahead two years and computed available reserve generation capacity announced maintenance schedules, transmission availability and the forecast peak loads. Its key outputs were the expected reserve levels at the peak of each day in each region in the NEM.

While Glenn was upgrading WEMSIM to optimize the placement of outages, CMS volunteered to supply the MT PASA software until such time as ESCA could write the “official” version. The stars aligned and Glenn began writing MT PASA for the NEM.

Glenn realised that consulting companies are not good places to write software. Consulting and software cultures are very different and writing software whilst consulting is a recipe for a poor product, a philosophy that Energy Exemplar maintain to this day by not consulting.

So, it was because of MT PASA that the maintenance optimization phase of PLEXOS got the name PASA, and the “temporary” MT PASA Glenn originally wrote for the NEM lasted several years before ESCA finally got around to replacing it.

Today, we have come full circle. The original, simple, MT PASA has done its dash. It has not kept pace with the introduction of intermittent generation. AEMO recognise that a full Monte Carlo simulation which considers renewable intermittency as well as generator forced outages is paramount for meaningful mid-term indicators of shortage or surplus.

And so, as PLEXOS becomes set to replace MT PASA by November 2017, we find that sooner or later, everything old is new again.

Road to Marseille 2018

OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT – PLEXOS User Group Meeting 2018 – Stay tuned for registration details!

PLEXOS User Group Meeting Video – Barcelona 2017

A rare peek into an exclusive PLEXOS User Group Meeting.

For the full length videos of all the presentations from some of the world’s biggest energy players, please visit the client area of our website.

PLEXOS Stochastic Hydro Optimization

Energy Exemplar presents an Executive Summary for PLEXOS Stochastic Hydro Optimization.

The full version is now available for download in the client area.

Read the full version in the Client Area
Download the Executive Summary


NREL’s ‘Greening the Grid’ project concludes in India with a spectacular report.

  • Advanced weather & power system modelling identified impacts & actions
  • System balancing 100GW solar & 60GW wind is achievable at 15 min timescales
  • Coal fleet is flexible to manage variability & has a role to play
  • 160 GW of RE serves 22% of demand saving on fuel costs & emissions
  • New gas plant not needed for balancing while coal operates at half

Read the full article

Revolution in Hydro

The imminent release of a major update to PLEXOS will give rise to a new era in Hydro modelling with the arrival of a disruption to the 1970 SDDP methodology. The PLEXOS rolling horizon methodology offers multi-stage stochastic optimisation for long term hydro management at speeds 3 times faster than SDDP for the same high resolution.

For more information or a trial please go directly to contact us on the Energy Exemplar website.

PLEXOS User Group Meeting Barcelona 2017


Download Information & Registration PDF
Download the Training Agenda PDF

AEMO 2017 Gas Statement of Opportunities study

AEMO 2017 Gas Statement of Opportunities study

Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has released its 2017 Gas Statement of Opportunities (GSOO) study intended to assess the adequacy of gas infrastructure, reserves and resources to meet demand in eastern and south-eastern Australia up to 2036.

The 2017 GSOO highlights the increasing interdependencies of gas and electricity for reliable supply of energy, and the importance of planning across the entire energy supply chain to ensure energy security.

KEY FINDINGS from this study include:
  1. Declining gas production may result in supply shortfalls
  2. Maintaining system security is becoming more challenging
  3. Increasing electricity and gas prices may threaten commercial and industrial customers

click here to download the full study

MISO and PJM Release Joint CPP Planning Study Using PLEXOS

MISO and PJM Release Joint CPP Planning Study Using PLEXOS

Midcontinent Independent System Operator and PJM Interconnection have recently completed a joint study using PLEXOS of the implementation of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) in their combined footprint. The CPP has created a need for many electricity industry companies to undertake detailed emissions modeling as part of their long-term planning practices. PLEXOS provides this capability along with numerous other capabilities that establish its unique qualifications for this type of analysis. The study required the ability to model interregional economic interchange, transmission congestion, the inclusion of a diversity of generation technologies, production cost modeling, the simulation of energy markets, emissions restrictions and trading, and other compliance mechanisms such as energy efficiency.

The MISO and PJM joint study produced many insights. Two of these rise to the top of the analysis according to the study authors, namely:
  • variation in natural gas prices and state policies on resource economics are at least as important as state’s implementation of CPP rules, and
  • standardization of the energy efficiency across state lines may bring significant savings.

Regardless of the eventual implementation (if any) of the Clean Power Plan, many stakeholders in MISO and PJM and elsewhere across the United States are taking steps to address the core issues presented by the rule. The comprehensive modeling capabilities of PLEXOS make PLEXOS the ideal tool for this type of analysis.

click here to download the full study

Energy Storage for Smart Grids – 1st Edition

Energy Storage for Smart Grids

1st Edition

A great book containing an excellent chapter dedicated to using PLEXOS to simulate optimal hydro storage solutions for volatile wind energy driven electricity markets thanks to modelling by the Mid-continent Independent System Operator (MISO) in the US.


Energy storage is a main component of any holistic consideration of smart grids, particularly when incorporating power derived from variable, distributed and renewable energy resources. Energy Storage for Smart Grids delves into detailed coverage of the entire spectrum of available and emerging storage technologies, presented in the context of economic and practical considerations.

Featuring the latest research findings from the world’s foremost energy storage experts, complete with data analysis, field tests, and simulation results, this book helps device manufacturers develop robust business cases for the inclusion of storage in grid applications. It also provides the comparisons and explanations grid planners and operators need to make informed decisions about which storage solutions will be most successful when implemented in operational grids.

Purchase the Book Here

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