While ACES is always looking forward, in 2019 we took some time to reflect on the past 20 years of operations. ACES started in 1999 with 18 employees, four Members, borrowed office space, minimal services, and was focused primarily in the Midwest. ACES has grown significantly since that time, currently employing more than 240 individuals, serving 21 Members and numerous
Customers across the U.S., and expanding to four offices. While this growth has been momentous, it has also been carefully planned and measured. ACES has always been Member-focused, and any growth is directly tied to creating value for those we serve.
As part of our Strategic Plan, ACES pursued several initiatives this year to continue adding value to its Members and Customers. One of those initiatives was to expand information sharing efforts, specifically through various forums. In 2019, ACES held regional summits in SPP, MISO, ERCOT, and PJM. These summits proved effective in bringing cooperatives together to find common
ground and identify items of importance and areas where ACES can help create benefits for all cooperatives participating in those markets.
ACES is also actively working to anticipate changes in the industry and provide valuable information related to new technology and trends to Members and Customers. For example, ACES is exploring the economics of solar and battery storage. As a proof of concept for assessing distribution level threats to G&Ts, ACES evaluated options for installing solar and battery storage at its headquarters. The analysis for this project concluded that, while solar and battery storage may not be an economic solution for ACES, it likely could be in the very near future. ACES is also actively exploring other emerging technologies and trends, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and a new open source interoperable grid software.
Looking forward to 2020, ACES has several initiatives related to enhancing our compliance activities, exploring new services, and continuing to increase collaboration between Members and Customers, among other items. One of ACES’ most significant endeavors will be implementing Transmission Operations (TOP) services. As discussed at the November Board Meeting, ACES is working to finalize an agreement with Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC) to utilize their existing Generation Operations (GOP)/TOP center and personnel to provide TOP (and eventually GOP) services from their facility in Ohio. ACES is looking forward to fully implementing TOP services and expects this service to bring significant growth to ACES and value to those we serve.
ACES is proud of its achievements and looks forward to continuing to find new and innovative ways to support our Members and Customers.