Brady: Empowering Energy Businesses beyond Borders
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Brady: Empowering Energy Businesses beyond Borders

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Aleksandar Cvetkovic, Head of Energy Portfolio, BradyAleksandar Cvetkovic, Head of Energy Portfolio "A series of significant events have resulted in unprecedented adoption of renewable energy in the European electricity market over the past decade,” begins Aleksandar Sasha Cvetkovic, Head of Energy Portfolio, Brady.

These events started with the March 2011 Fukushima earthquake that caused a massive nuclear meltdown and consequently a catastrophic shift in energy policies across the planet. In the same year, political upheaval in Germany resulted in the mandate to shut down all German nuclear reactors by 2022 coupled with the ratification of significant incentives for renewable energy production. Finally, increased awareness regarding global climate change driven by dependency on non-renewable energy sources has further catalyzed the shift. The culmination of these events has driven massive investments for renewable energy and a unified electricity grid across Europe.

Although widely credited for a successful shift to clean energy, renewable power production was deemed challenging for European traders given the intermittent nature of renewable output, its reliance on infrastructure investment, the difficulty in translating renewable power output to trading strategies, market analysis and risk calculations as well as the complexity of the future smart grid.

The fluctuation of electrical energy generated from different geographies created vast amounts of balance variations with a significant surge in energy prices resulting in distress among energy traders across the continent. Lately, the European energy market has also been experiencing the tremors of corporate and regulatory earthquakes. There has been a drive for utilities to run major cost-cutting programs and the regulators have become more demanding about advanced reporting and more transparency in trading activities.

To restore order to the situation, real-time intraday cross-border trading came to the rescue of energy traders across the world which provided them with the right balance for the variations in supply and demand. However, owing to the diverse regulatory landscape of Europe with regulations varying for many of the 40+countries, the European market appeared reluctant with its stance on cross-border trading as well. Responding with the ultimate solution to these complex roadblocks entered Brady, with its market-ready ETRM platform.

"What glues us together as an organization is a strong focus on delivering value to our customers and innovative software development. With mutual trust, our people are naturally the fountains of new ideas, fueling better products, services, inspiring creativity and learning"

Brady’s ETRM platform provides the flexibility required to address the needs of the diverse and expansive energy market and provides support for business decision-making and cost management for companies engaging in real-time cross-border trading of energy-related financial and physical contracts. The platform enables energy traders around the world to be active in newer trading markets with preconfigured solutions for the most widely traded markets and contracts.

“Brady offers the most advanced software for the energy market, capable of supporting the core business processes involved in physical power delivery,” says Cvetkovic.

Brady offers the most advanced software for the energy market, capable of supporting the core business processes involved in physical power delivery

As an established provider of trading and risk management software for the commodity and energy markets, Brady marks its niche in offering one of the most comprehensive solution portfolios for power-centric market participants, to deal with contract management, real-time position reporting, risk management, back-office operations, plant scenario analytics, retail electricity sales management, energy data management, balancing and scheduling, and communications with transmission system operators (TSOs). Cvetkovic states, “We bring packaged and locally tailored software solutions and offer them to our customers in an agile and collaborative fashion. We are accountable to our customers, employees, and shareholders and are well-positioned to deliver excellence in line with the current and evolving needs of the customers.”

A Holistic Solution

Every energy portfolio is rich with physical optionality included in long-term structured contracts. When the data recording this optionality is spread across multiple disparate spreadsheets, achieving a real-time consolidated view of market and risk positions across the trading portfolio becomes virtually impossible for energy traders. This lack of systems integration in the front, mid and back office causes delays in the approval process and deal closure time and makes it difficult to meet increasing demand from market regulators who demand rigorous monitoring and transparent trading processes. Brady focuses on addressing this challenge through the unique capability of its ETRM solution to facilitate cross-border intraday trading in a highly efficient manner. Through an automatic scheduling workflow process, Brady may save three to four hours per day of administrative work for a typical energy logistics department. This enables timely closing of physical power and gas positions, financial gains for trading teams and the ability to react quickly to information received from TSOs to minimize the impact of imbalances within the trading operation.

Some of the key benefits offered by Brady's platform are a reduction in operational risk throughout the trading cycle, perfecting the management process and the ability to analyze structured contracts with embedded optionality for optimal decision-making. The company also offers a SaaS powered risk analytics such as value at risk, cash flow at risk across the trading portfolio and meeting the regulatory and audit reporting requirements.

Testaments of Success

As a record of Brady’s exceptional dexterity, Cvetkovic cites a customer success story of Brookfield Renewable Partners that operates one of the world’s largest publicly traded, pure-play renewable power platforms. The company’s portfolio consists of hydroelectric, wind, solar, and energy storage facilities in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, and totaling over 17,000 megawatts of installed capacity and an 8,000-megawatt development pipeline. In Europe, Brookfield Renewable’s portfolio consists of more than 500 MW of operating wind capacity and a development pipeline of approximately 800 MW across Ireland, the UK, and Portugal.

In 2015 Brookfield Renewable Energy Europe selected Brady Power Scheduling solution to manage its power scheduling activities in the UK. At the time of the announcement, Ruth Kent, Head of Power Marketing at Brookfield Renewable Europe, commented, “Brady’s unique ability to handle more European markets with a single product provided us with a scalable and flexible solution for our scheduling requirements that can adapt to our business as we continue to expand in Europe.” Following that, in 2017 Brookfield Renewable Ireland Limited, a leading owner, operator and developer of wind assets in Ireland selected Brady’s I-SEM Cloud solution for electricity trading and settlement in the new Integrated Single Electricity Market (I-SEM). At the time, Brookfield Renewable Ireland commented, “Brady’s trading and settlement system offered us the capability to build a single bespoke solution to meet the requirements of I-SEM and importantly with the flexibility and scalability to grow with our business as we enter new European markets.”

In another customer case study, Brady implemented their solution for BayWa r.e. Clean Energy Sourcing (CLENS), which has been one of the leading direct marketers and suppliers of green energy in Germany. The company offers a wide range of energy-related services and products, starting with the marketing of decentralized renewable energy and CHP plants and including extensive flexibility management and the supply to industrial and commercial customers with green energy. CLENS have been using Brady’s ETRM and Power Scheduling solutions for several years, and in January 2019 they decided to implement the Brady Credit Risk solution as well. The customer noted, “Having been a customer of Brady since 2010, we are highly impressed by the team’s understanding of our business and the professional partnership that we have enjoyed to date. This coupled with Brady’s unique position in being able to cover almost all European markets within one modern technology platform, made Brady the right partner for CLENS.”

The Organizational Merit

Known for its established position as an enabler for customers, Brady also brings a remarkable innovative potential to the energy market. “We strongly believe in harnessing the collective knowledge of the open source community to enable us to fast track our technology strategy,” affirms Cvetkovic. As a part of this strategy, Brady readily utilizes many popular open source frameworks and components including vendor-neutral API applications. The benefit of this approach enables the company to stay ahead of the current risks and helps in maintaining bespoke libraries and frameworks that can leverage the knowledge of a multitude of developers available in the open source community.

The company is also closely monitoring the blockchain development. “By leveraging blockchain, we will be able to simplify the trading workflows and processes and significantly reduce pertinent costs while having an immediate trading confirmation with full visibility of all the participants without any intermediaries,” adds Cvetkovic.

Along with a promising vision, Brady also brings the richness of experience and ethical business values to the table. As an influencer himself, Cvetkovic’s leadership principles align with Brady’s company values of trust, collaboration and innovation and its strategic focus on customer satisfaction and growth. “What glues us together as an organization is a strong focus on delivering value to our customers and innovative software development. With mutual trust, our people are naturally the fountains of new ideas, fueling better products, services, inspiring creativity, and learning,” concludes Cvetkovic.

- Ashwani Kumar
    April 10, 2019