Sentinel for Commercial Operations

Effective capacity forecasting and despatch planning are vital inputs to effective trading.

Sentinel delivers the tools you need to model the behaviour of different types of generating assets, based on the fuel they use and the external factors that influence their operation.

By modelling technical availability, despatch plans and fuel forecasts, Sentinel provides high quality data to enhance the accuracy of EDT submissions to National Grid, leading to improved despatch performance and revenue generation.

The Sentinel Elexon interface takes care of EVCN and MVRN notifications ensuring an accurate traded position is always available for settlement.

 

Technical Availability (TA)

The ability to forecast accurately the ability of your generation assets to generate electricity over multiple time ranges is essential for both commercial and regulatory purposes. A power availability forecast is the source of data for submissions to National Grid, Ofgem and EMFIP - and is also one of the inputs for accurate gas usage forecasting.

Sentinel TA is a highly versatile tool that enables us to work with you to configure a model of the technical and external factors that impact on plant performance to improve the accuracy of declarations to National Grid to improve commercial performance.

By reflecting the impact of actual and planned plant constraints and configuration changes, degradation factors and weather data, the Sentinel TA model editor enables us to translate existing models - often in the form of spreadsheets - into secure scalable tools that account for asset specific operating conditions. Once finalised and validated, the model is used to update constraint and event information, refining availability forecasts to achieve higher levels of currency and accuracy.

Sentinel TA is integrated with other Sentinel modules (such as Sentinel EDT and PM) to automatically transfer and make visible accurate power availability forecast data across all areas of the company, supporting better operational and trading decisions.  By delivering more accurate availability forecasts, Sentinel enables you to trade closer to actual plant capability, creating the potential for increased trading volumes and improved commercial performance for gas fired power stations and wind farms.

Key Features >

  • Allows configuration of complex constrained and unconstrained Availability Forecast Models
  • Integration with EDT, PM and THOR Transparency Reporting modules
  • Automated and ad-hoc execution options
  • Interaction with Events Manager to factor in outage events and configuration changes
  • Suitable for wind farms and gas fired power stations.

 

Gas Forecasting

Forecasting and notifying gas usage to various parties over multiple time frames is a common requirement across all gas fired power stations. The Sentinel Gas Forecasting module uses the modelling capabilities of the Sentinel Model Editor to produce customised models that calculate and nominate to third parties forecast and actual gas usage according to your plant’s technical parameters and the terms of your gas supply contracts.

Our business analysts are experienced with contractual terms in NEXAs and PPAs that need to be configured in the models and can help you to produce a sets of calculations that will automate the production and nomination of your gas usage forecasts over the time ranges and on the schedules required by your counterparties.  Our standard model is parameterised, allowing quick configuration of startup/shutdown, base load and part load running correction factors – however the Model Editor allows a high degree of flexibility in customisation, resulting in a completely different model structure for you if you wish.

 

As with other Sentinel modules, Sentinel Gas Forecasting sits within the Sentinel application framework, allowing data to be easily transferred between modules such as generation forecasts and accepted BOA instructions from the EDT and EDL modules for use as inputs to the model or the resultant gas usage forecast displayed on the Sentinel PM client.  The application  framework has common communications interfaces, scheduling, data auditing, access configuration and alerting capabilities, reducing the cost of implementation to you.

Key Features > 

  • Highly configurable gas demand modelling
  • Forecast and actual gas demand can be merged for nomination purposes
  • Automated transfer of data between Sentinel modules e.g. display of forecast on Sentinel PM
  • Automated communication with suppliers and shippers based on contractual rules
  • Scheduled, rule-dependant or on-demand execution
  • Full validation before submission.

 

EDT

Communicating an accurate picture of expected future generation and Bid Offer pricing that is commercially sound and attractive to National Grid are fundamental to the profitable operation of your generating assets. Optimised for wind, thermal and nuclear, Sentinel EDT delivers all the tools you need to operate your trading point submissions effectively. A vital component of your BETTA market system.

Sentinel EDT is National Grid certified and offers a range of features designed to ensure that submissions are made securely and consistently.

PN, BOD and MEL submissions can be driven by either imports or manual entries. In both cases all entries are validated for compliance before submission. As a result, Sentinel EDT guards against submission issues and inaccurate declarations, helping to minimise imbalance charges. This feature is enhanced by the facility to configure the sensitivity of the parameters that govern submissions so they become tighter as the time interval between submission and delivery shortens.

For greater flexibility, Sentinel EDT can be deployed as part of a wider Sentinel solution or through integration to a third party system. When working alongside other Sentinel products, EDT submissions can be viewed in a single display with EDL data, by both station operators and traders, using the Position Monitoring module.

Non-instructable Generating Units

EDT can automatically differentiate between generating units that can be instructed by National Grid and those that are not part of the balancing mechanism, routing values to the appropriate destinations when the generation plan for the entire portfolio is prepared and submitted. This ensures that all required National Grid submissions are made, while data relating to non-instructable units is delivered to station operators.

Integrating Wind Power Forecasts

Changes to wind speed and direction have a major impact on turbine and wind farm performance. However, not all changes are relevant in terms of submission to National Grid. Sentinel EDT can automate the assessment of wind forecasts, recognising when conditions require new submissions. The result is that both the magnitude and timing of changes are accounted for before any submission is made.

Automated Alerts

Exceptional events, like submission failures, can be commercially costly. Sometimes events don’t follow a plan so Sentinel Alerts highlights exceptional events and conditions, routing information to those best placed to respond. Delivery via the Sentinel desktop, email and SMS ensures that nothing is missed and issues are addressed promptly and effectively.

Key Features >

  • Trading point management that enables submission of PN, MEL and BOD to National Grid
  • Link between asset management and commercial operations
  • Manual, semi-automated or fully automated data entry / import functions
  • Selective submissions based on accepted position to reduce duplication
  • All entries validated prior to submission
  • Wind forecast integration
  • Alert configuration and routing.

 

Despatch Planning

The production of a despatch plan for generation units that is technically feasible, contractually valid (if there is a PPA in place) and commercially profitable is a difficult problem to solve and one that is addressed by Sentinel Despatch Planning.

The Sentinel Despatch Planning module uses the modelling capabilities of the Sentinel Model Editor to produce customised and configurable models which reflect technical parameters such as the necessary notice to deviate from zero (NDZ) load and ramp rates; contractual obligations from a PPA; and other commercial terms, to produce a generation plan that forms the basis of data submitted to National Grid and to the control centre for your generation assets. It can also be sent automatically to other interested counterparties such as offtakers.

The models are configured with your input but using our business analysts’ experience with previous similar problems and can be configured to produce despatch plans over multiple time ranges, reflecting the various uses for the plans.  Once configured, the models are executed automatically when new information is presented to it, on a time schedule or on demand within a common application framework that allows the Despatch Planning module to share data with other Sentinel modules such as Technical Availability.  As with other Sentinel modules, the Sentinel application framework also allows Despatch Planning to utilise common communications interfaces, scheduling, data auditing, access configuration and alerting capabilities that reduce the cost of implementation to you.

Key Features >

  • Configure a despatch algorithm or process to create a despatch plan for one or more generation units based on key plant and contractual parameters
  • Develop a reference model that can be utilised in multiple configurations
  • Model execution on demand, scheduled or receipt of new input data
  • Automatically push PN to EDT, other data to off-takers
  • Configurable events with custom typology
  • Permission security model based on configured access rights and roles
  • Full data logging and audit trail of actions
  • Configurable reporting.

 

Elexon Interface

The Sentinel Elexon Interface module is an Elexon-certified application that enables Market Participants to exchange information with Elexon securely and reliably, for both contract notification and settlement.

 

This module is designed to accept imported energy contract volume information and submit it in the correct format to Elexon, downloading and presenting a display of the feedback from Elexon, reconciled with the original ECVN. It provides a range of views of the data, highlighting differences between submitted and accepted positions to support remedial action by traders.

Elexon specifies ranges of data flows to be exchanged for participants in the BM that are particular to their role in the market and requires certification of the system you intend to use to do this. Our team has extensive experience of gaining this certification on your behalf, including testing of CRA-IO14, ECVAA-IO07, ECVAA-IO08, ECVAA-IO09, ECVAA-IO10, ECVAA-IO13, ECVAA-IO14, ECVAA-IO22, ECVAA-IO28, ECVAA-IO29 and SAA-IO14. 

Key Features >

  • Elexon certified for interconnector,non-physical trader, generator and supplier roles
  • Download ECVAA-IO22 (Forward Contract Report) and ECVAA-IO28 (ECVN Acceptance Feedback) flows
  • Construct Elexon position, compared to submitted or imported position to identify issues
  • Download SAA-IO14 (Settlement Reports) files for storage, review and use in the Sentinel Settlements module.

 

See how Sentinel supports other business functions >