Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States, with approximately 51,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity in the Carolinas, the Midwest and Florida. The resource planning department at Duke develops long-term plans to meet future energy and demand requirements while considering the associated risks and benefits to customers. Software models are used extensively as part of this planning process, and these plans are filed with public service commissions in five states.
The Need for New Software
The capacity expansion and production cost models that Duke had been using for several years were no longer being supported and in need of being replaced. Duke identified several advanced features that would be needed in new software: enforcing annual emissions caps with full hourly unit dispatch; detailed ancillary services modeling; optimization of storage operations (pumped hydro and batteries, including paired with solar projects); detailed modeling of cofiring coal and natural gas; and combined cycle multi-mode operation.
Duke identified three models from the leading software vendors and undertook an extensive evaluation to review the capabilities of each one. The resource planning team conducted a series of capacity expansion and production cost scenarios using actual data for the Carolinas, the largest and most complex of their systems. The criteria Duke used for selecting a new model were:
- Minimizing production costs – fuel, variable O&M, emissions, energy imbalance
- Unit operations – capacity factors, starts, storage charging/discharging, ancillary services, cofiring
- Model performance – runtimes and options for simplification
- Ease of use – input/output processes and multi-user workflow
At the end of the evaluation period, Duke selected EnCompass from Anchor Power Solutions. The evaluation team noted several areas where EnCompass was the best choice among the models, including:
- Better capacity expansion results, with detailed capital cost modeling and consideration of startup costs, ancillary services, paired solar/storage, and cofiring
- Best overall performance for runtime and minimizing total costs
- Easy to export inputs and outputs to spreadsheets for sharing with internal and external customers/stakeholders
- Utilizing SQL Server for a full multi-user environment, and providing an audit trail of input data changes (user and date)
- Licensing option allowing for an unlimited number of users and computing nodes across the organization
Duke will now begin the process of benchmarking all the databases that Anchor Power Solutions converted from the existing software. Duke will also utilize the National Database for EnCompass from Horizons Energy to develop power price forecasts and perform market studies throughout the Eastern Interconnection.
About Anchor Power Solutions
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.