T&D World Magazine

Ventyx Software to Leverage NASA Earth Science Data for Improved Load Forecasting

Ventyx's demand and price forecasting system has been selected for an advanced NASA project designed to improve short-term load forecasting for energy utilities.

The project, entitled "NASA Products to Enhance Energy Utility Load Forecasting," a NASA Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES) grant award winner, will apply high-resolution weather-related Earth science to optimize the accuracy of Ventyx's short-term forecasting system, NOSTRADAMUS. Using the latest advancements in neural network technology, NOSTRADAMUS learns the relationships among any number of data inputs to automatically produce and disseminate accurate demand and price forecasts. Through the ROSES project, the accuracy of these forecasts can be improved by inputting finer resolution data and model outputs uniquely available from NASA, such as air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and more obscure items such as ocean temperatures, offshore winds and snow pack levels.

Ventyx partnered with Battelle, a nonprofit independent research and development organization, to bid for and win the project. According to Christopher Pestak, Battelle's manager of NASA Programs, "Load forecasting systems such as Ventyx's are powerful decision support tools for energy utilities, but we can enhance their performance even further by starting with better data. And, the better the forecast, the less unnecessary and wasted generation. As a result, this work should result in cost savings to residential, commercial and industrial energy users while improving long-term energy conservation."

Clients and Industry Experts Drive Project Goals

The NOSTRADAMUS system is used by electric and gas utilities, system operators and power pools, electric cooperatives, energy marketers and gas pipelines around the world to automatically produce and disseminate accurate demand and price forecasts. Some of these clients will join a customer group formed to guide the project's direction. The group will provide input on load forecasting, address upcoming data needs driven by climate change and help guide the transition of results from the project to the nationwide energy utility community. Included in the group are Avista Utilities, National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp.

The project will also be lead by a team of experts in utility forecasting software. The team will consist of representatives from Avista Utilities, Battelle, NASA Langley Research Center, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, National Fuel Gas Company, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. and Ventyx.

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