E.ON Benelux, the Dutch arm of E.ON Energie AG, operates in a deregulated energy environment and as such must deal with energy imbalances, where a customer consumes less (or more) power than estimated, resulting in a financial settlement; given the scale at which E.ON operates, the imbalance validation process is nigh impossible to complete manually, and began looking for ways to simplify and automate the process without losing any oversight.
The nature of electricity makes it almost inevitable that quantities produced and consumed will deviate from the quantities for which contracts have been defined in advance. In deregulated energy markets these differences (imbalances) can lead to financial settlements.
To avoid and minimize the resulting costs, companies must be able to analyze and validate all available data about delivered energy and communicate their findings back to the system operator within a specific period of days. In particular, Dutch energy companies like E.ON Benelux have 10 days to report to TenneT (the system operator) any discrepancies or errors found. During that 10 day period, corrections to the data can be made by any of the involved parties (including the TenneT and Grid Operators) and financial settlements can be avoided or at least minimized.
However, the high volume of exchanged data makes it practically impossible to fully validate it using manual processes. Therefore, E.ON was looking for a solution that would automate the data collection and assembly, and simplify the whole imbalance validation process. The objective was to achieve a high level of visibility over imbalance, to quickly understand its causes and take any corrective measures within the time-frame defined by TenneT.