Time to put away your spreadsheets

By Todd Crawford Let’s say you know there’s a snow storm predicted in a few days. You also know it may impact a holiday weekend. As a utility, do you really know what level of energy demand (or load) you should plan for? Or does it seem like you’re guessing? Predicting load is crucial for energy companies and utilities and is a classic Goldilocks problem. If not enough energy is produced, outages will occur.  If too much energy is generated, the excess is wasted, costing the generating company considerable sums of money. In the not-too-recent past load forecasting was typically done via spreadsheets or very simple techniques (such as regression models). During the last few years, however, significant advances have been made in several key components of the load forecasting…

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