Research

Anticipating Market Needs

We at IES have always tried to anticipate market needs, so we maintain an ongoing research effort on relevant topics.  In this way we can have solutions for our clients essentially “out of the box”.  Areas where we have led the way in the past are:

  • Prior to market start in 1998, we anticipated and implemented the first working prototype of the NEM as it operates now. It was used by the Market Operator and IES for training participants in NEM operations.
  • We developed the market model PROPHET shortly after market start, to aid understanding and planning in the NEM environment.
  • With the publication of copious amounts of NEM data, we anticipated the need for a sophisticated data viewing and analysis tool and developed a tool which became our NEO product.
  • We undertook research to implement a very fast algorithm to generator N-1 security constraints “on the fly” in PROPHET, our NEM market model.

Current Research Activity

The challenge facing policymakers and market operators is to maintain secure and reliable operations and investment while maximising the level of competition that decentralised technologies potentially offer. Internal research projects that IES is undertaking include:

  • Options for an ancillary services market in inertia, to replace the potentially declining inertia from the closure of older fossil fuel plant.
  • A real time market in frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) to supplement the current and possible future FCAS enablement markets.
  • How those markets can be designed to operate with centralised SCADA and with real time monitoring facilities built into smart meters.
  • Integrating FCAS enablement and real time markets with 5 minute pricing and 5 or 30 minute settlement to remove system shocks from large step price transitions.
  • Pricing distribution network constraints in real time to encourage decentralised and competitive responses from behind the meter.

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