June 10, 2019
AEI provies a free ISO Alert service that sends email and text messages to subscribers whenever a regional grid is approaching a new annual peak in the current financial year. The financial year is defined to coincide with the Forward Capacity Market (FCM) auctions which set payments to load-serving entities (LSE) in exchange for their commitment to be available to meet the projected demand for electricity three years out. That delivery period is called the capacity commitment period (CCP) and is a one-year period from June 1 through May 31 of the following year. We use the same date range because ICAP tags and the demand charges that flow from them are typically fixed for the duration of a financial year.
In the course of providing this service, AEI collects real-time data published by regional transmission organizations (RTO) and independent system operators (ISO) in the U.S. and U.K by way of programming interfaces provided by each RTO or ISO. Depending on the service, the data may be available in 5-minute, 15-minute, 30-minute or hourly increments. In addition to the real-time loads, we also collect hourly forecast demand data which is typically available one to 10 days into the future.
The AEI ISO Alert service operates year-round but is typically dormant during U.S. winters and U.K. summers when the likelihood of annual peak hours is lower. In the U.S., AEI ISO Alerts will resume full services on or before Monday June 17th 2019 and continue until September 30th, 2019 and provide coverage for ISO New England, NYISO, PJM, Mid-Continent ISO (MISO), CA-ISO, ERCOT, SPP and National Grid UK. The first two or three weeks of the financial year - or "cooling season" in the U.S. - are useful for shaking out the service as it tries to establish a new reference level before it issues any alerts. We use 90% of the lowest peak load from the past 3 years of history to establish the reference level. The goal is to send out meaningful alerts that match the RTO or ISO forecasts such that any demand response is statistically justified. The commencement of our service is signaled by the delivery of a morning report before 9:30am each weekday which reiterates the RTO or ISO forecast for the day, combined with our assessment of the likelihood that a new peak might be reached. Our service will send text or email messages when loads are within striking distance of a new peak in the next few hours, and we use historical error rates for each of the ISOs when assessing our risk rating.
For 2019, we have added coverage of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and National Grid ESO, a legally separate entity of the National Grid Group in the UK. These two system operators are being supported based on a proprietary request, and we may be adding IESO under a similar agreement.
As of this writing, only ERCOT and SPP have exceeded 90% of the previous 3 years average peak demand. All grids are setting new peaks on nearly a daily basis here in the early days of the cooling season, but we won't send alerts on these technical peaks until a grid exceeded 90% of the prior 3 year average peak. This threshold is used in order to avoid false positive as the grids are gradually moving into their true peak levels. Just the same, recall that in 2017 ISO New England peaked on June 13th which is historically very early in the season, so it may not be prudent to dismiss an early peak because a cool dry summer could result in relatively mild loads during July and August. Nor should we rule out the possibility of surprise peaks in late August or September.
Historical Peaks by ISO
Historical peaks and YTD 2019 peaks are found in the tables beneath each chart on the AEI ISO Alerts introductory page.
To learn more about the Independent System Operators in the U.S., visit the FERC website.
Visit our AEI ISO Alerts web page to learn more or to sign-up for this free service. Contact us to incorporate our API into your downstream applications, or for additional information about how we can customize the alert service for your purposes.