Big data analytics saves utility customers millions of dollars
AMSTERDAM–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SAS Energy Forecasting, new from the business analytics leader, helps utilities operate more efficiently by capitalizing on new interval data from smart meters. Unlike other load forecasting software, SAS Energy Forecasting supports multiple planning horizons – from the next hour to the next 50 years.
“We needed a forecasting solution that was more flexible and responsive to deal with variations in demand caused by a number of factors, including the general economic downturn, changes in market conditions and the unpredictable weather we’ve seen”
Faced with volatile wholesale energy markets and increasingly complex asset portfolios, utilities need robust load forecasting to improve planning and operations while ensuring that lights come on when customers flip the switch. Without analytics, the increasing volume and variety of data can easily overwhelm traditional forecasting systems and processes.
“We saved utility customers millions of dollars in our first year using SAS,” said David Hamilton, Manager of Load Forecasting for Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, which provides wholesale power to 11 not-for-profit distribution cooperatives. “With SAS, we can capitalize on massive volumes of new data and quickly adjust to changing conditions. We needed to understand how our customers are likely to buy energy in the future. We couldn’t answer that question for the organization if we didn’t have SAS.”
Utilities can use big data from smart meters, power plants and other sources to produce accurate and timely forecasts of short- and long-term load and demand. This helps the utilities better trade energy on the open market, while optimally managing power plants, generators and other assets. To learn more, read the free white paper When One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Electric Load Forecasting with a Geographic Hierarchy.
Generating a return on smart grid investments
Investor-owned utilities are charged with delivering safe and reliable power that meets customer expectations while delivering shareholder value. The ability to predict the volume, variability and location of energy demand brings significant financial rewards.
“SAS recognized the opportunity for utilities to use big data to make a marked improvement in forecasting effectiveness,” said Alyssa Farrell, SAS Global Marketing Manager for Energy and Utilities. “Working with our customers, we developed SAS Energy Forecasting to go beyond what any forecaster has had access to before. We include utility-specific forecasting models and a comprehensive forecasting toolset for further refinement or custom configuration. Data mining and other analytical methods produce forecasts that more accurately reflect business realities and better guide decision makers ranging from load forecasters to senior executives.”
Utilities harness big data
“Forecasting technologies can help utilities optimize processes across the value chain, from energy trading to demand-side management,” said Stuart Ravens, Principal Analyst at Ovum Energy and Sustainability. “SAS Energy Forecasting positions this company at the forefront of the development of analytics products specifically for the utilities industry.”
Utilities have successfully used forecasting in the past. Today’s new challenges, including the added complexity of wind- and solar-power generation, require even greater attention to the data sets and models that feed those forecasts.
“We needed a forecasting solution that was more flexible and responsive to deal with variations in demand caused by a number of factors, including the general economic downturn, changes in market conditions and the unpredictable weather we’ve seen,” said Andrew Mortimer, Forecasting Optimization Manager at RWE npower, a leading integrated UK energy company. “Since adopting the SAS solution, we’ve seen a significant reduction in the error rate for commodity forecasting, driving considerable cost savings. We can now interrogate large data sets in a more efficient and effective way than previously, so I’d expect to see these cost savings sustained over the coming years.”
Energy and utility leaders around the world rely on the power of SAS to deliver the analysis, forecasts, and energy trading and risk management systems for effective decision making across the enterprise. With SAS Analytics, utilities track and manage resources by geography, weather sensitivity and customer load characteristics. No other forecasting solution provides the automation, scalability, statistical sophistication and transparency of SAS Energy Forecasting.
Today’s announcement came at The Premier Business Leadership Series event in Amsterdam, a business conference presented by SAS that brings together more than 700 attendees from the public and private sectors to share ideas on critical business issues.
SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions, SAS helps customers at more than 65,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.
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