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The Energy Authority launches Slice Optimizer System for BPA wholesale customers


From the November 27, 2012 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published November 27, 2012

The Energy Authority on Nov. 16 announced the launch of its Slice Optimizer System—a state-of-the-art software solution to manage the Bonneville Power Administration's RD Slice Agreement. 

"In less than two minutes, the Slice Optimizer System finds the solution to approximately 45,000 hydrodynamic and electrical variables that are subject to more than 80,000 constraints, representing 10 days of hourly operations of the highly complex Columbia River federal hydro system," TEA said. "With this product, TEA continues to demonstrate its expertise in assisting Northwest public power utilities to manage the complexities of the Slice system."

The software application enables TEA to "seamlessly coordinate business functions across multiple time frames by empowering real-time traders to dispatch the Slice system for each utility several times in an hour and simultaneously meet individual system obligations," TEA said.

TEA forward traders use the Slice Optimizer System "to shape water from one day to the next, effectively capturing economic value as market and river conditions change," TEA said. TEA planners also use the system to manage the uncertainty inherent in the massive Columbia River Basin operations.

The Slice Optimizer System "enables TEA to generate a customized plan that maximizes the value of our Slice resources," said Jim Sanders, general manager of Benton PUD in Kennewick, Wash. 

TEA said it also offers an unbundled version of the software as a stand-alone service. Idaho Falls Power is the first Slice utility using a hosted version of the Optimizer System to manage its Slice resources. With the hosted version, Idaho Falls Power "has full access to the same functionality used by TEA in serving its nine Slice clients," TEA said.

"The Slice Optimizer System is the cumulative result of the efforts over the past three years of a highly talented team of quantitative analysts, software engineers, and hydro experts who, through creative and innovative approaches, worked to overcome many complex technical and analytical challenges," said Tom Harvey, TEA’s CIO. 

TEA offers bilateral power trading, risk management, power supply management, RTO trading, and natural gas trading services to public power utilities. It is headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., and has offices in Seattle and Portland, Ore.

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