GAS NATURAL FENOSA uses MATLAB software products to develop models that let the company project capacity and demand and optimize generation of asset portfolios. In particular, the company develops optimization and forecasting models that use historical usage patterns, weather forecasts, production costs and regulatory constraints, and other operational factors. As a result, the gas company has doubled staff productivity and can adapt more quickly to regulatory changes, reducing its response time from months to one or two weeks.
GNF engineers are says to have used the software to develop a set of core models that analyze available data, forecast results, and optimize generation plans. Each software model accesses a central database for historical power consumption and price data, weather forecasts, and parameters for each power plant. Optimization Toolbox was applied to minimize production cost among several plants given a set of constraints, including carbon caps and maximum capacity. Statistics Toolbox let the engineers develop and assess price-simulation scenarios.
MATLAB Compiler let the team created standalone programs from each model that run automatically day and night, letting developers more easily manage updates to the models and access to the models for a variety of end users providing improved management of updates and control of access to models. The team also used Simulink to model the behavior of generators in the GNF infrastructure.
“Our market changes quickly, so we need to know how to promptly respond to changes in regulatory standards or in the structure of the electricity industry, as well as to other factors, such as increased production of renewable energy,” said Isaac Pérez, head of the Iberian Electricity Markets Technical Office. “We tried a commercial software package without development and customization capabilities, but it did not address the numerous problems we needed to solve. In our circumstances, closed systems don’t work well. We needed an open platform that would let us develop our own algorithms and computations.”
“A company like GNF, with a generating capacity in Spain of over 15,000 MW and a portfolio of assets including a variety of generating technologies, must accurately predict different variables affecting the markets where it operates,” said Juan Nasarre, managing director of MathWorks for Spain and Portugal. “The software let the company detect better business opportunities, reduce generating costs, and therefore improve its sales margin.”
Filed Under: Financing, Software