Senior Quantitative Analyst
Not everyone can work with numbers day in and day out, but for Erin Ellenberger, ACES Senior Quantitative Analyst, that is exactly what she enjoys doing. Erin is a 2018 graduate of Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI) who majored in applied statistics with a minor in economics. She was looking for a place to use her math skillset when her brother Kevin Ellenberger, Manager of Transmission at ACES, mentioned there were openings for Hourly Traders. “It became very clear even during my first interviews that you could start in one department at ACES and they will get to know you very quickly, learn what you’re interested in, and help guide you into a position where you can really excel.” Erin had been working on the real-time desk for eight months when a conversation with her mentor, who happened to lead the Portfolio Performance Reporting (PPR) team at the time, unlocked an opportunity for advancement. Erin joined the PPR team in January 2020 where she worked with the Brazos Electric Cooperative (Brazos) portfolio, among others. When a need for a Quantitative Analyst opened last year, Erin was the perfect fit. She currently works with Brazos, Western Farmers Electric Cooperative, and East Texas Electric Cooperative. She also works with ACES’ ERCOT scarcity pricing model, which allows her to use her R programming skills.
Erin explained that the Quantitative Analysts each work with three to five Members/Customers to learn and recreate their portfolios in modeling software to forecast what the portfolio might look like in the future under normal conditions and different scenarios. Some of the metrics they must consider when looking at the portfolios include costs, fuel usage, total hedged position, and net market sales and purchases. “Building models takes time, as does learning each model’s ins and outs. It’s important to understand each portfolio’s individual resources included and how they behave,” says Erin. “Portfolio information is provided by Members, and supplemented with ACES’ internal data. If you get good data inputs, your outputs will be better,” she continues. Aside from regular models, Erin explained that ACES’ Quantitative Analysts also investigate variances between model results and actuals to improve future models. They also work on hedge recommendations, asset valuations, extreme weather scenario analysis, and annual budgets.
If not working with numbers, Erin would want to be a Patisserie Chef. She loves to bake, especially the classic chocolate chip cookie. “I love baking because it’s just like math. There are rules and if you follow them, you’ll get the correct result,” Erin explained. While she does travel a little, she’s most comfortable at home, at local thrift shops, or walking the Monon Trail near her home. Erin likes to read classic novels, specifically Jane Austin works, and watches the Lord of the Rings trilogy annually. During the pandemic, she taught herself to play the ukulele, first learning one of Dolly Parton’s greatest hits to sing to her cat, Jolene.
Erin’s words of wisdom to new ACES employees are that “People want to help you. ACES is very unique in how welcoming and helpful everyone is at all times. If you ask questions and put yourself out there and really try to explore, you’ll find the right people to guide you and help you get to where you want to be.”