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SoftSmiths delivers Schedule Time Line and extends solutions to Bonneville Power Administration

Houston, TX. – February 12, 2004 – SoftSmiths today announced that it has delivered new scheduling automation functionality to Bonneville Power Administration - Transmission Business Line (BPAT). The new automation, called Schedule Timeline, will allow BPAT to progressively increase their level of scheduling automation, by providing product-specific fine-grained control over the automatic approval and refusal of standard NERC E-TAG requests, including automated checks for BPAT’s scheduling timelines, NERC-specified timelines, transmission customer evaluation of requests, and checks for integration with legacy scheduling systems, in addition to all of the core e?Wheel schedule verification rules.

The combination of SoftSmiths core technology and customization provides BPAT with the flexibility to progressively turn on product automation in production, one product or process at a time. Using the Schedule Timeline it will be possible, for example, to turn on automated approval of valid hourly non-firm E?Tag requests, when sufficient ATC exists, without affecting any other E?Tag processing.

SoftSmiths’ products have provided BPAT the capability to increase the level of automation it utilizes in its scheduling processes according to management’s implementation of its transition plan. As BPAT elects to enable SoftSmiths’ delivered solutions, schedulers’ time will be freed up to focus on other, more important tasks during the critical transition period when BPAT switches from their legacy scheduling system to the new e?Wheel scheduling suite. With its new systems in place, BPAT will be able to keep pace as WECC introduces new business practices to streamline scheduling within the region.

Over the course of SoftSmiths’ relationship with BPAT, BPA has implemented and deployed a number of SoftSmiths’ solutions for daily production use. In addition to Schedule Timeline, the products and services listed below have been deployed and are currently being utilized. Other SoftSmiths’ features and system services will be rolled out according to BPATS’ deployment schedule.

  • ETPS Tag Authority and Approval services process all of BPAT’s electronic tag requests. BPAT has processed 360,000 E-Tags annually, demonstrating the ability of ETPS to provide virtually limitless reliability and scalability.
  • The Scheduling Web Interface (SWI) provides transmission customers an interface to evaluate e-Schedules and review their transmission reservations and usage. It also provides an interface for adjacent control areas to see BPAT’s interchange schedules for checkout.
  • The Automated Hourly Market allows transmission customers to purchase hourly non-firm service via E-Tag requests, thus providing a “one-stop shop” for purchasing and scheduling transmission service in a single action.
  • Reservation Automation processes short term firm (STF) requests submitted by transmission customers via BPAT's OASIS node.
  • STF Redirect Requests are automatically assessed and processed – including redirects from complicated multi-path grandfathered transmission contracts.
  • e-Reservation maintains all long term and short term firm, and non-firm reservations in a single system, allowing all users of the system to share and access this information, including access to all ATC data and calculations, through a single interface.
  • Both unencumbered and encumbered ATC are automatically posted by constrained path to the OASIS node.
  • e-Schedule requests are automatically extracted from E-Tags, verified using both core e?Wheel rules and BPAT specific rules for each product, and, based on the flip of a switch, either automatically approved or refused, and presented to the schedulers for manual decision. Core verification rules include transmission reservation checks, ATC checks, transmission priority checks, transmission customer checks, allocation sufficiency checks, and others. BPAT product-specific checks include product- and path-specific scheduling timelines, transmission customer evaluation, ATC checks, and others.
  • Transmission reservation checks can test for OASIS “ARef” values, and can also allow transmission customers to pool their available transmission capacity and refer to the entire pool by specifying their OASIS enabling agreement contract number on the tag instead. e?Wheel will automatically find available transmission reservations on the customer’s behalf, including performing arbitrary combinations of horizontal and vertical stacking.
  • Available Transmission Capacity (ATC) is automatically calculated for each of BPAT's transmission paths as reservations and schedules are processed. Both encumbered and unencumbered Firm ATC profiles are calculated and posted.
  • Flexible search tools allow schedulers to locate E?Tags, e?Schedules and transmission reservations.

e-Wheel is designed for Transmission Providers, Control Area Operators, and RTO's who face an increasingly diverse customer service base and require cutting-edge technology to accommodate transaction rates in the hundreds of thousands. SoftSmiths' e-Wheel Suite provides just that - a flexible, scalable business technology solution, seamlessly integrating Scheduling, Transmission Services, ATC Management, Interchange Checkout, EMS integration, Accounting and Reporting - giving Transmission Providers the capabilities necessary to stay on top of the changing business environment.

The Electronic Tagging Portal Suite (ETPS) provides NERC 1.7 compliant e-Authority and e-Approval applications.

About SoftSmiths

SoftSmiths is a leading provider of proven business critical Transaction Management Systems and services for Load Serving Entities, Generation Production Entities, Purchasing Selling Entities, and Transmission Providers who operate in physical markets to sell, purchase, trade, and deliver energy in the most efficient and cost- effective way. SoftSmiths’ seamlessly integrated, scalable, and adaptable solutions provide ready-to-deploy, out-of-the-box functionality that is highly configurable and customizable to meet companies' unique needs. SoftSmiths' proven solutions and in-depth knowledge of the industry's business practices allow its customers to automate manual processes, eliminate redundancies, and increase business visibility across the enterprise to allow faster decision making and more informed decisions, thereby improving profitability, operational efficiencies and cash flow. The company has been successfully delivering e-business solutions to energy service companies since 1997.

SoftSmiths is a registered trademark of SoftSmiths, Inc.

Contact Information:

Softsmiths Inc.
Hugo Stappers
Phone:    713.626.9184
Fax:          713.626.0186

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