Energy Resource Procurement
with Modern Analytics

Utilities, retailers, and Community Choice Aggregators turn to Ascend Analytics to implement efficient RFO/RFP processes that support intelligent and defendable risk-based decisions on behalf of their customers. Ascend provides end-to-end support for the energy procurement process, including a detailed focus on ensuring the process captures the value of renewables and storage under the system dynamics of today and the future.

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Capture the full value of renewables and storage

Managing the RFP/RFO Process

Ascend offers full-service procurement with an experienced team of analysts who have helped our customers procure over 10 million megawatt-hours per year of renewable energy and 12,000 MWh of battery storage capacity. Ascend's industry-leading software suite provides the capability to select the best resources through:
  • Capturing the value of flexible resources for day-ahead and real-time (sub-hourly) markets for energy and ancillary services.
  • Evaluation of demand- and supply-side resources on a level playing field. This includes demand response, energy efficiency, behind-the-meter solar and storage, electric vehicle smart charging, as well as utility-scale renewables, storage, and traditional thermal resources.
  • Evaluation of risk by simulating performance across a range of possible futures rather than a single deterministic case.
  • Simulation of nodal prices to account for basis risks and renewable saturation in specific areas.
  • Access to Ascend's proprietary market price forecasts that capture the impacts from accelerating renewable and battery adoption, such as increasing price volatility, changing price shapes, and real-time price spikes.
  • Automated processes for rapid validation and valuation of bids, with entire valuation results turned around in two to four weeks.
  • Web hosting, project management, and bidder engagement.
  • One of the industry's largest databases of reputable project developers for marketing.

Resource RFO Process

Risk-Based Decision Making with Ascend

Signing PPA contracts can be a risky engagement, locking in purchase obligations for extended time periods. While perfect foresight remains impossible, Ascend's valuation approach assesses and mitigates the primary risks:

Historical Bias

Ascend's forecasting approach accounts for the evolving market dynamics associated with increasing renewable generation while remaining firmly grounded in long-run economic equilibrium theory. This approach prevents “over-anchoring” to historical price behavior while also not overweighing the present or near-term future.

Basis Risk

Ascend's models simulate nodal prices and their correlations with weather and renewable output, thus accounting for price depression at geographic locations with high renewable penetrations. This approach avoids overvaluing resources at saturated locations.

Variability

Ascend's stochastic modeling accounts for the variation in renewable generation at sub-hourly, hourly, daily, seasonal, and annual time-steps, thus providing a valuation under a realistic range of conditions rather than relying on approximations based on “average” conditions. This approach allows for quantifying potential variation in revenues, market exposure, loss of load events, carbon emissions, and other important factors affected by the variable output from renewables.

Process Automation for RFOs

View our recent RFO Case Studies

The Ascend Advantage

Ready Analytics

"Ready to Roll" analytics and preconfigured models for any region or node

Insights

Critical insights for portfolio management in a high renewables future

Expertise

Our expertise includes planning, valuation, risk management & ISO operations