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Avant’s utility management team supports municipal and tribal utilities and power agencies in their effort to deliver economic and reliable power to customers. Our deep understanding of energy markets and the regulations that govern those markets allows our team to create value for our clients.
With extensive training and experience in long-term planning, risk management, resource planning, and financial analysis, we can assist utilities in a wide variety of initiatives, including: Power Supply Planning, Market Operations, Energy Procurement and Hedging, Asset Management, Financial Management and Planning, Strategic Planning, and Regulatory Services.
Utilities need a comprehensive roadmap for providing reliable and least-cost electric service to customers while addressing the substantial risks and uncertainties inherent in the electric utility business. We help utilities develop strategic plans and assess long-run economic and operational performance of alternative resource portfolios.
Specifically, Avant assists utilities in:
• Evaluating short and long-term capacity requirements through robust load projection methodologies
• Analyzing the impact of demand side management programs and customer-owned generation on future load requirements
• Developing a diversified energy supply plan that includes new renewable and conventional generating capacity, power purchases, energy conservation, and cogeneration and district energy. Evaluating the impact of technological change on generation planning and customer consumption and generation
• Identifying risks and developing mitigation plans
• Assessing regulatory changes and developing compliance plans
Energy prices change rapidly, and our team ensures clients capitalize on market opportunities. Avant helps clients increase generation resource profitability by developing and executing strategies for the effective dispatch of their generating assets.
Our services include:
• Seeking profit opportunities in day-ahead and real-time markets
• Monitoring market fluctuations and system generation and transmission outages
• Improving load forecasting capabilities to reduce deviation cost and purchasing inefficiencies
• Scheduling generation, fuel, and transmission daily
• Economically dispatching intermittent resources such as wind
• Counterparty credit assessment and monitoring
• ISO market settlement review and/or counterparty checkout process review
Energy prices are dynamic and difficult to predict. Making smart energy procurement decisions helps utilities weather market volatility. Avant helps manage our clients’ short- and long-term energy risk through proactive buying and hedging.
Our trading and hedging activities include:
• Development of market-based hedging objectives and policies
• Electricity procurement and hedging
• Natural gas procurement and hedging
• Risk management assessments and reporting
The many variables impacting a generation unit make it difficult to maximize its value to a utility. We support our clients in strengthening a generating asset’s operating margin. Our primary asset management objective is high availability, as availability is the key factor in extracting value over the life of a generating asset.
We work with clients to:
• Improve asset performance and profitability
• Manage third-party operation and maintenance contractors
• Manage fuel procurement
• Maintain regulatory compliance
• Coordinate with dispatching/scheduling
• Manage annual budgets and capital project planning
Strong financial management practices are essential to good utility decision making. Timely knowledge of relevant financial and operational metrics can help utility management make effective decisions that keep costs competitive and position the utility for long-term success. Understanding how the utilities’ rates compare to competitors can help a municipal utility support its community’s economic development goals.
Our financial management and planning services include:
• Reviewing regular and ad hoc reporting practices to ensure that useful and relevant information is being presented to management
• Examining internal control processes to help utilities properly safeguard assets and financial report integrity
• Performing rate analyses so that utilities can benchmark their rates against local and regional competitors
• Performing cost of service studies to ensure that utility rates are accurately and fairly recovering costs from various customer segments
• Designing new rates to attract economic development or fairly compensate customer-owned generation
We help guide utilities, communities, and large energy users through a comprehensive strategic planning process regarding energy issues. We work with clients to review and revise their mission, vision, and values around energy supply and delivery. We facilitate stakeholder engagement processes to ensure broad participation in the planning process. We develop presentations and conduct meetings to communicate the results of the strategic planning process to policymakers, management, and community members.
Shifting regulatory requirements and independent system operator (ISO) market rules require up-to-date knowledge and thoughtful administration of utility processes and procedures. Changing market constructs, if not properly adapted to, can result in inefficient operations, unnecessary costs, or missed revenue opportunities.
Our utility management team has the regulatory, market, and legal knowledge to help clients manage responsibilities such as:
• NERC reliability compliance
• FERC compliance
• ISO market and rule compliance