Taking the guesswork out of Mexico's energy demand forecasts

Thu, 2018-12-13 13:39 -- Doug Peeples

Electric utilities have made progress in how they forecast what their energy demand will be at any given time, in the short-term and long-term. Weather, price and economics all feed into the energy demand equation as does the integration of renewable energy.

But it can still be a tricky business, as it has been for Mexico's National Energy Control Center (CENACE). The International Energy Agency says the country's total energy demand has grown by 25% since 2000 and it's also in the midst of major energy reforms. However, with the help of Council Global Lead Partner Itron, CENACE will be in a far better position to meet energy demand with fast, frequent and accurate forecasts. — Doug Peeples

What Itron will provide for CENACE is an array of tools, including its Forecasting-as-a-Service offering, to provide the utility's 10 regional control offices with hourly energy demand forecasts based on information collected as far as 14 days ahead.

As part of the Forecasting-as-a-Service package, an interactive online portal will give the utility access to high-resolution data sets and Itron's domain expertise. The service will provide electric system and model maintenance and monitoring.

As Itron's VP in Latin America Emerson Souza explained, the service will evaluate the impacts of customer growth now and in the future as well as the impacts of an increasingly distributed grid — data that will help energy retailers improve their energy models.

For Guillermo Choreño, CENACE deputy director of electric market operation, the new service will give the company confidence in its forecasts. "With accurate forecasts of the system's hourly load, we will be equipped to optimally plan energy resources and ensure the reliable operation of the National Power System of Mexico."

The CENACE project will be Itron's first deployment of its cloud-based Forecasting-as-a-Service in Latin America.