DTE Electric Company has selected the EnCompass software from Anchor Power Solutions to expand its capabilities in integrated resource planning.
DTE Electric generates, transmits and distributes electricity to 2.2 million customers in southeastern Michigan. With an 11,084 megawatt system capacity, the company uses coal, nuclear fuel, natural gas, hydroelectric pumped storage and renewable sources to generate its electrical output. Founded in 1903, DTE Electric is the largest electric utility in Michigan and one of the largest in the nation. In early 2019, the utility filed its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) with the Michigan Public Service Commission.
The Need for New Software
The capacity expansion model that DTE Electric had been using since 2006 was no longer being supported and in need of being replaced. In its final order for the 2019 IRP, the Commission ordered DTE to “convene a technical conference with interested stakeholders for the purpose of identifying and evaluating alternative modeling software for use in developing integrated resource plans.”
DTE initially considered nine software programs from six different vendors and narrowed the field down to four programs that were evaluated using 30-day trials: Aurora and PLEXOS from Energy Exemplar, Capacity Expansion from ABB (now Hitachi ABB Power Grids), and EnCompass from Anchor Power Solutions. In May 2020, DTE hosted the two-day virtual software collaborative, with attendees from the three software vendors, Commission staff, environmental groups, and the other Michigan utilities including Consumers Energy, Upper Peninsula Power Company, and Xcel Energy.
The evaluation criteria included 33 components across the following categories:
- Model Capabilities: optimizing emission limits, early retirement, storage, ancillary services, and unit commitment; chronological modeling instead of load duration curves for renewables and storage
- Model Transparency: availability of manuals, inputs and outputs to stakeholders (without requiring a license), and licenses available at a reasonable cost
- Functionality: sub-hourly resolution, flexible commitment options, stochastic analysis, fuel blending optimization, market price forecasting
- Value and IRP Process Efficiency: lifecycle cost for DTE and stakeholders, intuitive user interface, dedicated software support, reasonable runtimes
- Nice to Have: data visualization, straightforward error checking, simple data import capabilities, automatic reporting, audit trails, scripting, exporting directly to spreadsheets
In July 2020, DTE Electric announced that EnCompass from Anchor Power Solutions had the highest score based on the evaluation criteria. The evaluation team noted several areas where EnCompass was the best choice among the models, including:
- Transparency: EnCompass can easily export all input data and model settings to a single spreadsheet that includes a legend and can be easily understood by all stakeholders. Anchor Power Solutions also allows input and output spreadsheets to be shared with anyone and provides project-based licenses of EnCompass to intervening parties at a reasonable cost.
- Model Capabilities: EnCompass optimizes the selection and use of storage considering capacity, energy, and ancillary service requirements while adhering to chronological constraints and cycling costs. Multiple environmental limits can be imposed simultaneously for a single unit and across multiple plants.
- Usability: The interface for EnCompass was the most intuitive and allows all data to be imported from a single or multiple spreadsheets. The team also appreciated the audit trail that shows who made the change to each input data item and when.
DTE Electric has already begun the process of implementing EnCompass and will be receiving additional assistance from Anchor Power Solutions as the company prepares to use the model for its next IRP filing.
Anchor Power Solutions provides planning software and consulting services for the power industry with a focus on market price forecasting, economic transmission analysis, integrated resource planning, budgeting, and risk analysis. Anchor Power Solutions developed EnCompass Software to accomplish all these functions in a single, easy-to-use system. For a custom demonstration, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.