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Maximizing Your Assets: Dispatch Stack

Posted by Versify Team on Mar 4, 2014 1:29:00 PM

The dispatch stack can be a helpful tool for bulk power generators. The dispatch stack lists the cost of production of power by each energy generation source (natural gas, renewables, nuclear, etc) from least cost to most cost.  Since most bulk power generators rely on a variety of assets for energy generation, this tool can help your company maximize their assets and produce the most amount of energy for the least amount of money.

Hypothetical Dispatch Stack

In general renewables and nuclear generating units represent the lowest cost generating assets.   In 2011, the U.S. Energy Information Administration put together a hypothetical dispatch stack. The generation dispatching  ranked generation assets, from least costly to most costly as follows:

  • Renewables

  • Nuclear

  • Hydro

  • Coal

  • Natural gas-combined cycle

  • Natural gas-other

  • Petroleum

However, the energy generation dispatching can be misleading. It does not take into account the capital costs or ongoing security and safety costs associated with generating assets. Most often, low cost generating units such as nuclear power have enormous capital and atypical operating costs. Also, many generating units cannot be turned and turned off without notice, resulting in flexibility issues that can affect cost.

Other Factors

As noted above, the dispatch stack does not give an accurate picture of all the variables that affect the cost of power generation. To truly understand how to maximize your generation assets, bulk power generators need to analyze the energy generation dispatching, hourly demand and supply, capital costs, compliance and cyber asset protection costs and generation asset flexibility.

Since demand changes hourly (and monthly and seasonally and when their is an extreme weather event) and power assets are not something that can be kept in stock, bulk power generations must be prepared to make critical decisions in real time.  To keep track of the big picture and all the factors (including dispatch stack) that affect generation cost, bulk power generators require a comprehensive data management solution.

V-Performance from Versify Solutions

V-Performance from Versify Solutions delivers high level generation data that summarizes generation asset performance through an interactive, web-based dashboard reporting application that provides comprehensive and customized asset reports. In V-Performance, bulk power generators can review a real-time dispatch stack, as well as capital costs, safety costs and other operational data. All this information allows bulk power generators to make real-time operating decisions based on real-time data--not hypotheticals.

For more information about V-Performance, contact Versify Solutions for a free consultation.
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