Energy market process automation with the Power Platform

We were recently engaged by a client to automate a simple process for managing, manipulating and preparing submissions to the Wholesale Energy Market (WEM) in Western Australia using data from a variety of third-party sources.

Utilising Power Automate, we were able to rapidly develop and prototype a solution that required no ongoing monthly licensing fees by utilising the client’s existing Microsoft 365 license.

The solution comprised of two automations (called ‘flows’):

The first flow prepared a balancing submission based off forecast data from an external source, along with a 7-day forecast. These files needed to follow very specific structures which required significant manipulation of the data to produce valid files that were ready for upload to third-party systems.

The second flow requests a bilateral nomination from a legacy SOAP interface provided by a third-party, then prepared the result to be submitted to the Market Operator as a bilateral submission. Again. there was a substantial amount of data cleansing and preparation required to get the submission ready in accordance with the third-party’s technical requirements. 

This is all wrapped up in a simple, intuitive Canvas App to allow staff to start and monitor the flows with negligible training required. This was a priority for the client to improve operability and reduce the likelihood of operator error. The app also allows simple access control to restrict who can access and therefore run the app. 

Thanks to the use of low-code tools, this solution was developed and deployed extremely quickly with a single developer, making it an ideal choice for the scope of the project. This approach also substantially reduced the upfront costs of developing a solution with this level of complexity, which would have been materially more expensive and time-consuming using a “traditional” custom coded approach.