Thirty-two months and more than 20 talented professionals – this is all that was required from Synergy to create a revolutionary Market Management System to liberalize Armenia’s wholesale electricity market and digitalize it. The system has been designed for “Settlement Centre” CJSC (100% of shares belong to the Government of Armenia) and was officially launched on February 1, 2022.
Market Management System has been developed with the support of the USAID Market Liberalization and Electricity Trade (MLET) Program.
Mediamax talked with Synergy team about the significance of the system and disclosed the stages of its creation.
About goals and privileges
Market Management System is a new and modern online platform providing the market participants vast opportunities in wholesale electricity market relations and enabling them to monitor all the processes taking place in the market.
The goal of the Market Management System is to assist the Armenian government, Public Services Regulatory Commission and wholesale market participants to create a favorable environment for investments and promote the introduction of competitive domestic market components and create new regional trade opportunities.
The system enabled to fully digitalize the electricity market, to organize online trading in separate segments of the wholesale market, which will also provide an opportunity to determine the electricity price in competitive conditions.
“It allows interstate electricity trading for market participants using an electronic toolkit. No less important features are ensuring the transparency of the electricity market and the efficiency of the decision-making process,” says project manager Hovhannes Aghajanyan.
About the system
Market Management System’s development concept is based on ongoing system analyses and wholesale market rules. Based on them, technical requirements were formed, according to which the system and the existing solutions were combined.
The cutting-edge software solution has been created on the basis of Synergy IDM platform and the technological stack based on modern microservice architecture.
In the system, market participants can submit bids, sign contracts, follow the actual registration data, generate payment acts, and if short, go through the whole process via singe window.
To trade in the energy market, the wholesale electricity market participants register online in the system. The system administrator approves accounts and adds all the necessary information, including metering data.
The actual transaction is preceded by electricity trading bids and offers from electricity market participants. In separate parts of the system, the price is generated based on supply and demand. Payment acts and other transaction documents are also generated automatically.
About creation stages
The system development consisted of 6 main stages. The design stage launched in June 2019. It took ten months to design the project and another 18 to develop, deploy and perform User Acceptance Testing (UAT). Throughout this period, Synergy was guided by its best practices of cooperation with various governments, institutions and organizations in more than 80 countries around the world.
“This is one of the major projects Synergy has carried out for the Government of Armenia. One of Synergy’s peculiarities is that in addition to programming the system itself, we also ensure the full governance of the implementation of the project – from needs assessment to UAT and piloting, from change management to IT security, creation of data center, etc.,” says project manager Hovhannes Aghajanyan, noting that the project management in the company is at a very high level, and this project was no exception.
He says they faced several challenges when creating the system and in order to solve them, they were guided by the principles of mutual trust, flexibility and high professionalism while working with their partners and beneficiaries.
Smbat Arakelyan, a senior software engineer for the project, who developed market logic, user management access and security (different users have different access and competence), has been part of more than ten projects at Synergy. Still, his participation in this project is somewhat a “debut” in terms of big data and project duration.
“One of the peculiarities of this project is the large volume of data. Only if to bring the fact that the data of the entire energy sector of Armenia are imported into the system and updated on an hourly basis, one can imagine what volumes of data we are talking about,” says Smbat.
About security and integration
The system is hosted in Armenia in separate infrastructure in accordance with all security standards. It is necessary to get a 2FA security token device for accessing the system or making actions.
The team which worked on the system says no data leakage is possible from the system and privacy is guaranteed.
“The participant who submitted an application for the purchase of electricity must provide a bank guarantee to complete the transaction, which means that a certain amount on his account must be frozen. Naturally, this whole process requires a high level of security, which we have provided in the system. No user can see information inaccessible for them and manipulate it,” the project’s software engineer Erik Khachatryan, who was responsible for developing the bank guarantees module, said.
Arsen Avagumyan, the software engineer of the project, adds that the privacy of the systems created by Synergy is assessed by independent audit organizations, which also demonstrates the significance the company attaches to the issue.
Market Management System is integrated into Armenia’s automated energy metering system at the level of transmission and distribution networks, which enables real-time online data calculations.
“The structure of the system also allows easy integration with other systems. In general, we have received a very flexible system, which will be possible to improve and change if demanded, without applying to us,” says Arsen Avagumyan.
This flexibility allows the system to meet market rules, and being modular, it is easy to add new tools in the future.
Photos by Emin Aristakesyan