SAS Energy Forecasting improves utilities’ response to extreme conditions

Largest municipal utility in US relies on SAS to predict demand for electricity

Facing increased uncertainty from extreme weather, utility companies must accurately predict customer demand and better manage infrastructure. All this to ensure homes, stores, factories,  schools and farms have the electricity they need.

SAS, the leader in AI and analytics, provides SAS® Energy Forecasting and the new SAS Energy Forecasting Cloud to help utilities reliably serve their customers through improved planning and operations.

Utilities can make better predictions about consumer and business demand by building more accurate models with both SAS energy forecasting solutions. These models analyze vast amounts of operational, weather and usage data from numerous sources, including smart meters and other IoT-connected devices. They also consider regulatory requirements and new factors such as increased demand for electric vehicle recharging.

Ensuring reliable power for Los Angeles

From heat domes and atmospheric rivers to wildfires and rare tropical storms, Southern California has witnessed many effects of climate change.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) needed a better way to assess the impact of extreme weather on customer demand in the second-most populous city in the United States. With over 8,000 megawatts of net dependable capacity, 1.55 million electric customers and 681,000 water customers, LADWP is the country’s largest municipal utility.

LADWP turned to SAS Energy Forecasting to help its managers, planners and engineers assess the impact of climate change and future weather scenarios. The SAS solution replaced outdated legacy applications with AI- and analytics-powered models that predict peak demand and provide more accurate forecasts.

“Transforming volumes of data into more accurate predictions with SAS Energy Forecasting means better decisions for LADWP and more dependable and reliable service for our millions of customers,” said Bingbing Zhang, Data Analyst at LADWP.

“SAS AI and advanced analytics are helping us in both short- and long-term demand and transmission planning,” said Zhang. “Just as our city and region needs to be agile in the face of extreme weather, LADWP also must quickly adapt to changing customer needs and demand. SAS Energy Forecasting is a key part of our response.”

A product of App Factory

SAS Energy Forecasting Cloud is the first SAS solution leveraging SAS App Factory, a new SAS Viya® offering previewed at SAS Explore and generally available in 2024.

SAS App Factory is an application development environment (ADE) used to create AI-driven cloud applications quickly and at lower cost.

Better forecasting in the cloud

With the new SAS Energy Forecasting Cloud, SAS is providing the power of AI and advanced analytics as a service.

Utilities like LADWP can still get the quality load and renewable generation forecasts they have come to expect from SAS Energy Forecasting. Through cloud delivery, they can scale the use of the software up or down depending on business needs while reducing in-house computing requirements.

Utility forecasters try to determine how customers will use energy and then plan operations around those possible uses. SAS Energy Forecasting and SAS Energy Forecasting Cloud help them automatically track model accuracy and easily update models as conditions change – spanning very short-term to long-term horizons.

The changing grid requires a platform capable of handling massive data sets and providing information down to the circuit level, including renewable generation. With the SAS energy forecasting solutions, utility planners and managers can bring together massive amounts of data and apply AI and advanced analytics, delivering repeatable, traceable, scalable and defensible forecasts.

“With renewables and other new energy sources added to their grids, utilities and smart cities need to make informed predictions about demand, whether it be for the next few hours or the next 20 years,” said Jason Mann, SAS Vice President of Internet of Things (IoT).

“The new SAS Energy Forecasting Cloud empowers transparent, trusted and repeatable forecasts to help organizations plan and scale with confidence while adhering to regulatory oversight,” said Mann. “Better predictions lead to better decisions that improve the customer and citizen experience while enhancing efficiency.”

Today's announcement was made at SAS Explore, the technology conference from SAS. Keep up with the latest news from SAS by following @SASsoftwareNews on X/Twitter.

About SAS

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SAS helps utilities accurately predict customer demand and better manage infrastructure.