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Indian Energy Exchange Sees Power in Partnership and a Service-based Architecture

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Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) operates a platform where electricity generators, distribution utilities and large industrial buyers trade electricity before it is delivered to end users. It has been working with partners to modernise its infrastructure and respond to changes in the market.

No electricity flows through the exchange, just data representing offers to produce, to consume and to pay for electricity. Since that electricity must be consumed as soon as it is generated, the exchange holds regular auctions to match demand, which is not constant but at least somewhat predictable, and supply.

Trading used to take place on the day-ahead market, with one auction held each day for supply of the next day’s electricity in 15-minute blocks. Many of the book-keeping operations relied on manual processes that could take four or five hours to complete.

The increasing share of renewable sources in the electricity supply, their output varying with the weather, prompted IEX to introduce a real-time market (RTM) on June 1, 2020, with 48 auctions per day for electricity to be delivered as little as an hour later.

“The real-time market segment was created to support distribution companies, to manage their demand-supply variations. It integrates renewable energy in an efficient and effective manner and provides the mechanism to support safe and reliable grid operations,” says Sangh Gautam, CTO of IEX since August 2019.

To get to that point required a change in IEX’s skillset and development culture. Before Gautam’s arrival, he says, “We were partly or mostly doing our development in house. And I think we could clearly see that if we want to be moving to a future state-of-the-art architecture, then we had to move towards creating technology partnerships. That’s where we started working with companies like Capgemini. They gave a very comprehensive idea of power exchanges the world over, what kind of technology are they using? In what directions are they going?”

Open interfaces

That led Gautam to conclude that IEX had to replace its monolithic auction software, adopting a more modular service-based architecture connected through open APIs with its members and the National Load Dispatch Centre in charge of the electricity grid. The exchange, its members and the NLDC also had to automate manual processes in order to complete each phase of book-keeping within the 30 minutes available between auctions.

“At the software level we had to tackle many challenges because in our existing architecture all our markets used the same components… order management, risk management, back office etc. All of those components were using the same software, so many computations of other market segments were happening in the system at the same time as the RTM tasks were being done,” says Gautam.

The project required a change in pace not just of dealing, but of development too: “We could clearly see that our culture is different than how start-ups are,” he says. “We created a very comprehensive training exercise for our team, on newer technologies…. We had to move from a traditional waterfall kind of methodology to an agile one. We incorporated tools like Jira, and CI/CD pipelines, so that whenever there is a change that is happening, our team is able to adapt to that change very swiftly. We can allocate our team from one project to another in the least amount of time.”

It took around eight months to build the real-time market in the run-up to its launch, and then another three or four months to finish some of the process automation and fix a few of the problems encountered at launch, Gautam said.

IEX derived other advantages from breaking up the monolithic software and opening the APIs. It was able to integrate the trading platform with its financial system in SAP, eliminating manual elements from some back-office settlement processes and enabling it to pay market participants in minutes, not hours, he says.

Gautam has been keen to incorporate customer feedback into the development process. “We ingrain that into our culture, getting customer feedback. So even our tech team is involved in from day one. We talk to a customer, so they understand what exactly the customer thought processes are, so that culture had to be also brought into the team.”

Even so, the development team can’t always please everyone all the time — but with the new APIs, auction participants were not limited to the user interface provided by IEX: they can build their own. “A system which is which is intuitive for one customer may not be for others. With member APIs, we have given that freedom as well, that they can easily create them themselves,” says Gautam.

Adding redundancy

There have been evolutions throughout the underlying infrastructure, not just in the user interface. The exchange system is built on a virtualized environment with hardware redundancy at the machine level for high availability, and further redundancy in software and even at the task level. There are also backup machines so that even if one component in a particular RTM process fails, it can switch to the backup machine in an automated manner, within seconds. This was done to ensure 100% uptime, he says.

On big transformations such as this, Gautam says it’s important to start with the technology vision, and then start bridging the gaps between the current reality and that vision, one by one, drawing on the expertise of partners where necessary.

It’s also important to plan for when things go wrong, as they inevitably will. “When we design the system, it should be designed from day one thinking about auto-healing,” he says.

While self-healing technologies may seem far off in some domains, another of Gautam’s watchwords, monitoring, is helping bridge that gap: “All the systems that we have, from hardware to software to every process that we have, almost, we are monitoring them all the time. There are alerts set up. The moment there is an alert, our system team gets the alert, then they’re in the know.”

“We’re even thinking of how we can have those alerts integrated into a self-healing system. Some of them have been integrated, and now we are moving towards how we can do more,” he says.

It’s not always humans looking out for problems: In some cases, it’s a software bot, says Gautam. “In case something fails, our system automatically detects there is a problem and triggers an alert. There are specific instructions to the bot on how to resolve that issue, which the bot is able to execute.”

Source Here: cio.com

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China’s Economy Grows Despite Int’l Challenges: Turkish Expert

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© Provided by Xinhua

China would continue to contribute to the global economy, especially with the Belt and Road Initiative, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, said Turkish economist Sinan Alcin.

ISTA

Original Article: bignewsnetwork.com

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UK PM Boris Johnson Arrives in India for Two-day Visit

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], April 21 (ANI): UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday landed in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad for a two-day visit to India with focus on stepping up cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, giving momentum to negotiations on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries as well as enhancing defence ties.
Johnson started his visit from Ahmedabad where he is scheduled to meet with leading business gr

Original Article: bignewsnetwork.com

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Senate Panel Advances Sandra Thompson’s Nomination As FHFA Director

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The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs confirmed the nomination of Sandra Thompson to serve as the next director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, sending her nomination to the full Senate.

The vote passed 13 to 11, with all 12 of the committee’s Democrats and one Republican voting in favor of advancing Thompson’s nomination.

During the session, the committee also approved the re-nomination of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, the nomination of Federal Reserve Gov. Lael Brainard to be Vice Chair, and Philip Jefferson was confirmed as a member of the Federal Reserve.

Lisa Cook’s nomination to be a member of the Federal Reserve concluded in a tie. Cook, if confirmed by the full Senate, would be the first Black woman to serve on the Federal Reserve board.

Thompson in a statement said that she appreciates the support from Committee members and looks “forward to continuing to work with Congress as [she] fulfills [her] current role as Acting Director while the nomination process proceeds.”

In February 2022, the confirmation process of Thompson and a handful of Fed nominees stalled after Senate Republicans boycotted the vote.

At the time, Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick Toomey, the ranking Republican on the committee, critiqued the nomination of Sarah Bloom Raskin, who was nominated to be vice chair for supervision of the Federal Reserve.

Toomey questioned Raskin’s ties to Reserve Trust Company, a Colorado-based fintech startup that gained access to the Fed’s payment system in 2018. After Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said he would not vote for Raskin due to her views on climate change, Raskin withdrew her nomination.

The committee’s confirmation of Thompson, who has been leading the FHFA since June 2021, will be welcome news to many industry stakeholders and affordable housing advocates who have been calling on her confirmation.

Bob Broeksmit, president of the Mortgage Bankers Association, called Thompson “a breath of fresh air” during the ICE Experience Conference in Las Vegas this week.

“Her administration is really focusing on the ways in which Fannie Mae and Freddie can achieve its mission to make homeownership available and affordable to low- to- moderate income borrowers and to black and Hispanic borrowers who own homes at shamefully lower rates in this country, than people who look like me,” he said. “And I think that Fannie and Freddie, under Sandra Thompson’s direction, will come up with some really innovative ideas.”

Early on in her tenure leading the FHFA, Thompson said that she would prioritize sustainable lending practices and expand credit to underserved communities.

“As a longtime regulator, I am committed to making sure our nation’s housing finance systems and our regulated entities operate in a safe and sound manner,” Thompson said in June 2021, when she was appointed acting director. “We can accomplish this, and at the same time have a laser focus on mission and community investment. There is a widespread lack of affordable housing and access to credit, especially in communities of color.”

Since then, Thompson has made substantial headway. Within three months of her tenure, she set new affordability benchmarks to expand access to credit in underserved communities, made on-time rental payment history part of Fannie Mae’s underwriting process and signed a historic interagency fair lending agreement.

The post Senate panel advances Sandra Thompson’s nomination as FHFA director appeared first on HousingWire.

Source: housingwire.com

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