Integrated Resource Planning

Times have changed - has your modeling kept pace?

The new market dynamics require new models and services to manage increasing uncertainty and variability. Ascend brings decades of industry experience in Integrated Resource Planning. PowerSIMM provides best-in-class analysis to accurately model the incorporation of more renewables, flexible generation, energy-limited storage resources and load flexibility.

Integrated Resource Planning

  • Power system models with simulated weather that jointly drives load, renewables & prices to maintain reliable and realistic simulations.
  • Comprehensive planning for reliable systems with capacity to meet peak load through simulated weather, outages, and renewable output in easy-to-interpret reliability planning metrics.
  • Accurate analysis to determine flexible capacity requirements for power systems with high levels of variable renewable energy.
  • Realistically capture the uncertainty inherent in daily operations by simulating imperfect foresight in generation optimization.
  • Stochastic modeling approach captures the uncertainty in emerging market dynamics in a meaningful way.

Ascend works with utilities throughout the US to develop innovative resource plans that balance the need to add renewables with corresponding integration technologies such as batteries, including insight into sub-hourly operations.

Ascend's Flexible Planning Approach

Portfolio Nameplate Capacity (MW) Chart

Our models, insights and experts will customize your energy portfolio to meet your business objectives and to establish a balanced, forward-looking energy resource mix.

GHG Free Contribution by Resource chart

Unique Modeling Capabilities

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

  • Capturing the relationship between weather and volatility in renewable generation loads & energy prices

  • Calculating reliability and flexibility metrics with simulated weather & outages

  • Finding the least-cost path to comply with RPS and GHG requirements

  • Incorporating the effects of energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and demand response programs into resource plans

  • Performing capacity expansion studies with automated resource selection under uncertainty

  • Planning for NERC RBC and CPS-2 compliance by balancing renewables with flexible resources using minutely-level data

Additional Services Offered

  • Reliability planning expert testimony

  • Analysis for defensible resource retirement decisions and optimal replacement portfolios

  • Facilitation of stakeholder workshops

  • Avoided cost studies for regulatory proceedings

  • Request for proposal implementation and evaluation for power resources, including DERs

  • Long-term fundamentals-based forecasts for power prices, including sub-hourly prices.

  • Development of Integrated Resource Plans from end to end

Case Studies

Hawaiian Electric logo

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."

NorthWestern Energy

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 at the Public Service Commission proceeding in the Montana SupremeCourt.

City of Riverside Public Utilities Logo

Ascend provides Riverside with decision framework for Integrated Resources Plan

Ascend examined an important planning challenge, including resource adequacy needs, RPS mandates, carbon emission goals, and risk metric objectives in Riverside's Integrated Resource Plan.

Duke Energy logo

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.


Flexibility and Reliability Requirements for LADWP

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power uses Ascend'sPowerFlex tool to determine how additional renewable capacity will impact their flexibility and reliability requirements.

TTD Water & Power logo

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

Ascend simulated Turlock Irrigation District's (TID) system at the minutely level to quantify the net benefits of joining CAISO's Energy Imbalance Market, leading to TID joining the EIM.

The Ascend Advantage

Ready Analytics

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


Critical insights for portfolio management in a high renewables future


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