The ever-evolving deregulated power markets in North America are certainly keeping market participants on their toes. As data volumes and publication frequencies increase, so does the risk of making misinformed business decisions. With the growing influence of environmental regulations on the power markets, along with advancements in electrical grid technologies, market players must stay on top of anticipated changes in the generation stack and grid flexibility. An evolving marketplace demands simultaneous changes in data that organizations need to account for to remain current, compliant, and competitive.


Figure 1: After thermal resources, imported energy resources dominate the generation stack. The role of renewable sources in power generation is increasingly driven by technological advances and regulatory reform. | Data Source: CAISO

During the 2014 Western Systems Power Pool (WSPP) Spring Operating Committee Meeting, power market evolution was discussed with specific regard to the California Independent System Operators’ (CAISO) push towards countering regional demand with diverse resources and cooperating with other balancing authorities (BA’s). Maintaining one of the largest and most modern power grids in the deregulated markets, CAISO’s initiative to implement a new 15-minute scheduling model will increase the flexibility of its grid (CAISO). As a result, the ability to pinpoint electricity volumes in transmission lines, and the integration of renewable sources of energy in the generation stack, will be enhanced (NERC).


Figure 2: 15-minute wind and solar forecasted demand move in accordance to the total electricity production from renewable sources in both peak and off-peak hours. | Data Source: CAISO

Market participants must prepare to handle a higher frequency of data publication, and account for a greater diversity of electricity generation resources. An organization’s immediate access to the most current data will drive its ability to remain competitive in the changing CAISO market. ZE’s expertise in collecting ISO data since the dawn of deregulation has been instrumental in developing the ZEMA suite’s ability to leverage complete, timely, and correct power market data. Through unparalleled data aggregation and analytical capabilities, market players can optimize their data management processes while capturing all of their business critical information.

What Are the Drivers for CAISO’s Evolution?

CAISO’s movement towards integrating Variable Energy Resources (VER’s) has been the leading reason in creating a more flexible and reliable market (NERC). Collaboration with external markets is expected to optimize the use of generation resources in real-time; highlight opportunities to share resources with neighboring BA’s; and lead efforts to integrate growing renewable energy into the system. The 15-minute scheduling model will leverage more granular forecasting data, as it will be based on the average of three 5 minute intervals as opposed to the previous model based on hourly forecasts. Receiving updated forecasts several times per hour will enable market participants to stay more adequately informed of how much electricity is being transmitted, and to more efficiently recognize opportunities to call into service lower cost renewable energies (Brookfield).


Figure 3: Granular data showing that data collected every 5 minutes for total imported resources is influential in setting real time LMP to manage CAISO loads. | Data Source: CAISO

The new model’s promotion of efficiency and compliance with regulations is countered with new data management issues for market players, arising from more frequent grid information. ZEMA’s down to the second data collection ability provides organizations with the advantage of centralizing any ISO data to a single point of access, thereby keeping themselves well informed of market activities.

Where Does the Data Management Issue Start?

CAISO’s new forecast data will publish four times more frequently in order to accommodate VER’s such as solar, wind, and other renewables. As a result, the electricity load is anticipated to be settled with both 15 minute and 5 minute Locational Marginal Pricing (LMP), which contrasts the previous model comparing the day ahead market load with actual metered load (WSPP).


Figure 4: 15 minute LMP is plotted against generation and load forecast data published every 5 minutes for a 24 hour period. | Data Source: CAISO

Given that the presence of VER’s is set to increase in this market, location specific weather data is critical to market players who are dependent on wind and solar generation (CAISO). The combination of these changing market conditions will see an increased demand for timely data from hundreds of different nodes for load and pricing. ZEMA’s industry leading database is fed with the latest and most complete ISO and weather information, and users are able to access revised or current forecasts. Market players enhance their analytical capabilities and reduce operational risk in making key business decisions by equipping themselves with ZEMA, and immediately preventing potential data management issues.

ZEMA’s Solution to Evolving Power Markets

Many power market participants face challenges in collecting the most relevant, reliable, and recent data. With the most complete data catalog in the industry, ZEMA not only collects from all ISO’s and several fundamental price data sources, but also has the ability to provide end users with the latest data reports based on the first hand notification of any new data publication methods.

To learn more about how ZEMA can empower your organization and help you efficiently manage market transitions, book a complimentary demo.