Integrated Resource Planning


Ascend is pioneering Resource Planning 2.0 for a high renewable world with flexible generation. The energy landscape is undergoing fundamental change. Renewables are being added to the grid at a rapid pace and changing market dynamics unlike anything in the past 100 years. As times change, we need new tools and techniques to manage increasing uncertainty and variability.

Times have changed... has your modeling kept pace?

New Paradigm - Resource Planning 2.0

  • Simulated weather that jointly drives load, renewables and prices.
  • Comprehensive plan for capacity to meet peak load through simulated weather, outages, and renewable output in easy-to-interpret reliability planning metrics.
  • Determine increased flexible resource requirements due to variability in renewable generation.
  • Realistically capture certainty inherent in daily operations by simulating imperfect foresight in generation optimization.
  • Stochastic construct to capture "meaningful uncertainty" of emerging market dynamics and the impact of tomorrow's new structural drivers effect on supply and market price dynamics.

Ascend works with utilities throughout the US to develop innovative resource plans that balance the need to add renewables to comply with RPS requirements and add integration technologies such as batteries and sub-hourly operations. This helps maintain reliability and minimize costs for customers.

Unique Modeling Capabilities

Partnering with Ascend's consultants means access to our advanced and unique modeling capabilities, including:

Capturing the relationship between weather and volatility in renewable generation loads, and energy prices.
Finding the least-cost path to comply with RPS and GHG requirements
Performing capacity expansion studies with automated resource selection under uncertainty
Calculating reliability and flexibility metrics with simulated weather and outages
Incorporating the effects of energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and demand response programs into resource plans
Planning for NERC RBC and CPS-2 compliance by balancing renewables with flexible resources using minutely-level data

Services Offered

Calculating reliability and flexibility metrics with simulated weather
and outages
Analytics for peak and flexible reliability planning with high renewable penetration
Request for proposal implementation and evaluation for power resources, including DERs
Expert testimony
Facilitation of stakeholder workshops
Long-term fundamentals based forecasts for power price, including sub-hourly prices
Analysis for defensible resource retirement decisions and optimal replacement portfolios
Avoided cost studies for regulatory proceedings
Development of Integrated Resource Plans from end-to-end

Ascend charts a course for 100% renewables in Hawaii

On July 14, 2017, after multiple attempts and much stakeholder input, the Hawaiian Public Utilities Commission accepted HECO's Ascend-advised PSIP.  According to Todd Kanja, System Planning General Manager at HECO, this success, "...certainly could not have [been] achieved... without the efforts and contributions from the team at Ascend."

Ascend establishes industry best practices in NorthWestern Hydros acquisition

Ascend established "industry best practices" in NorthWestern's resource plan, providing detailed modeling, writing, and expert testimony in the Montana Supreme Court.

Ascend provides Riverside with decision framework for Integrated Resources Plan

Ascend examined the biggest planning challenges of the day, including resource adequacy needs, RPS mandates, carbon emission goals, and risk metric objectives in Riverside's Integrated Resource Plan.

Ascend helps Duke Energy prepare for an influx of renewables

Duke relies on Ascend to help determine the net benefits of new renewable projects and resource mixes within a large portfolio.  Ascend probabilistically informs Duke of least-risk location of each project.

Flexibility and Reliability Requirements for LADWP

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is using Ascend's PowerFlex tool to see how additional renewable capacity will impact flexibility and reliability requirements.

To join or not to join? Ascend quantifies the benefits of joining the EIM for TID

Ascend is modeling Turlock Irrigation District's system at the minutely level to quantify the net benefits of joining CAISO's Energy Imbalance Market.

The Ascend Advantage

Ready Analytics

"Ready to Roll" analytics and preconfigured models for any power market and PNode.

Insights & Market Reports

Anticipate and plan for the impact of changing market dynamics on portfolio management.

Electric Grid Modeling and Resource Planning Modeling Software


Ascend expertise ranges from basic application support to enhancing decision analysis with risk to expert testimony.