Release Notes

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Latest Release EMO 5.2.20 released February 2016

This release is a big step forward in modelling SFT constraint, using circuit and conductor data provided by Transpower. The new algorithm uses the new data to create more accurate constraints, and is now able to create "never before seen" SFT constraints in future scenarios that may not have occurred in the past.

This new release also includes the "SFT Calculator" which allows you to predict the impact of thermal upgrades on existing circuits, or the SFT parameters for a brand new circuit.

This video provides an overview of the enhanced SFT features.

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This video describes the new data files used by EMO's enhanced SFT.

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This video shows how to use the new SFT Calculator.

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This video shows an example using the SFT Calculator in which the new MW rating is found from the announced change in cable temperature rating.

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This video shows an example of adding a new line in an EMO Forecast, and using the SFT Calculator to set the SFT parameters.

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EMO 5.2.8 released March 2015

This release introduces the Constraint Builder, pop-up window that allows you to quickly search, modify and add equation constraints into Scenarios, Forecasts and Powerflows.

In addition, you may now use the new Constraint Builder to add an equation constraint into a Scenario - this is an often requested feature which is very useful for scenario analysis around constraints.

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EMO 5.1.x released 9-May-14

This release fixed a number of bugs and makes some minor improvements on the earlier beta release EMO 5.0.4

EMO 5.0.4 released 13 February 2014

Status: this is a beta release, which is to say that it requires user acceptance testing.

This is a major new release which features many improvements to the user interface and the ability to calculate SFT constraints in EMO solves (Scenarios and Forecasts).

Changes and new features:

  1. Our Auto-SFT function automatically generates SFT constraints in Scenarios and Forecasts
  2. The online help wiki has a section on the theory behind the SFT constraint formulation
  3. Auto-SFT can be turned on and off by the user
  4. A new SFT window shows the Auto-SFT constraints that were close to binding in each dispatch solve (Scenarios and Forecasts)
  5. Other Auto-SFT features:
    1. In the Circuit window there is a new column headed up “SFT PF” which contains the SFT “Protection Factor” for each transmission line (transformers are not included in SFT calculations)
    2. The SFT Protection Factor (SFT PF column) can be changed before re-dispatching in a Scenario
    3. Auto-SFT constraints created by EMO in a Scenario or Forecast can be transferred into a Scenario derived from the current dispatch solve and they preserve their SFT type designation
  6. The SO’s Manual Equations are also available in Forecasts
  7. The user can select which constraints are to be active in each Scenario or Forecast
  8. Constraint Equation Type is shown in various windows
  9. A new Constraints window shows all constraints that are binding in a dispatch solve in Scenarios and Forecasts
  10. The estimation of the AC risk offsets is improved by ensuring that EMO uses the minimum of the CE and ECE ACECERISKOFFSET values obtained from the SPD daily data files
  11. The Forecast window now has a button for Load Data in the right hand pane, which does the same as the Load Data item in the Forecast Data menu.
  12. Added POCP outage data downloaded from POCP site and included in the downloads from our web site
  13. There is a new Data menu for Supply & Demand charts, POCP Outages and Active Constraints
  14. Data>Active Equations brings up a window showing all equation constraints that are active in the current period
  15. POCP data for generators and transmission is available from the Data>POCP Outages menu
  16. Nodes can be grouped (by Energy Link) into substations that don't have the same 3 letter acronym name, e.g. HOB and QST are grouped into PEN, thus stopping the map from getting overly ‘messy’
  17. The Max Gen column is now highlighted in a Scenario, which means you can change this value for a generator before re-dispatching a Scenario
  18. The Risk Setter column is now highlighted in a Scenario, which means you can change this value for a generator before re-dispatching a Scenario
  19. A generator dispatched for reserves and frequency keeping (FK) has the FK band size included in the generator risk equation
  20. The Units window now includes a column headed “FK Band” which shows the size of the MW control band for a generator providing frequency keeping.
  21. The new FK Band column is highlighted in a Scenario, which means you can change this value for a generator before re-dispatching a Scenario
  22. Double clicking on a data field in a window brings up another window with info about the field, e.g. double click on a Huntly unit in the Units window to bring up a window on the unit, then double click on the Node Name (HLY2201) in this new window to bring up a window for the HLY2201 node.
  23. Watch lists can now be 'locked', thus fixing the data in the watch list. A second instance of the watch list can then be opened, thus allowing you to compare different data sets to the locked data, e.g. lock the data in the Market View, then create a Scenario and view this data in the unlocked watch list, to compare with the data in the locked watch list
  24. Offer prices in the Units window are now shown to 2 decimal places
  25. The tab of the active window (Map, Node, Substation, …) is now highlighted in grey
  26. The left hand pane (Control Panel) of the Main window is rearranged:
    1. Stored map views are now accessed from a dropdown box
    2. A summary of prices is shown for NZ and also for the two reserve regions, NI and SI
    3. The Data Sources window can be resized
  27. Forecasts are not loaded into memory on startup (but loaded later), which speeds up launching of EMO
  28. A substation is highlighted by a bold circle when a line or transformer is constrained within the substation
  29. A line or transformer constrained within a substation is now shown in red on the substation’s Insert Map
  30. The Find feature in EMO windows is enhanced with the ability to Find Next
  31. Find now also works from the magnifying glass icon in a window’s top right hand corner
  32. Ctrl + F will bring up the search box on the EMO Map
  33. The current cursor position in a window is indicated by the current row being highlighted in orange and the current cell in the row is in its normal highlight colour
  34. The name of an item in a window (shown in the leftmost column in the window) is now highlighted in bold
  35. You can now leave a window, and when you come back the cursor remains in the same cell as it was when you left it
  36. A substation description is added and appears when you hover or roll over a substation (node) on the map, in the title of inset maps, and in various windows where it is relevant (e.g. Nodes window)
  37. Island FIR and SIR prices now appear in the substation roll-over box
  38. A transmission line now changes colour when you hover or roll over it, making it easier to pick out which line you are selecting
  39. The "field of view" when hovering or rolling over a transmission line is wider than it used to be, making it easier to pick lines
  40. The imbalance value (generation less demand and losses) has been removed from Powerflows, Scenarios and Forecasts (since it is always zero), but still appears in Market view when actual generation may not match the generation dispatched by SPD in the final pricing run
  41. A Rename button is added to the Data Sources window for Scenarios, Powerflows and Forecasts
  42. Nodal price and Island are added to the data in the Units Window
  43. “Infeasibilities” are now notified in the area labelled “Messages” (used to be labelled "Infeasibilities")
  44. Disconnected nodes (with zero price) are no longer included in substation average pricing
  45. The line loading threshold for colouration can now be defined in File>Map Settings
  46. The highlight colour for line loading and width for line loadings can now be defined in File>Map Settings
  47. Loading data into Forecasts and Powerflows is faster than it used to be
  48. The user can select whether grid, reserves and other data files from our web site are automatically downloaded when EMO is started (File>File Inputs and check "Automatically update on startup")
  49. There is a new ‘Splash Screen’ at startup

A number of bugs are also fixed:

  1. headers were being displayed as numbers in reports
  2. opening watch lists was very slow, now sped up
  3. adding items to watch lists was not working correctly, now fixed
  4. data downloaded from our web site is now available immediately on startup
  5. map right-click menu issue fixed
  6. embedded generation is now not included in Powerflows
  7. graphs come out on top of other windows when they are created from Data>Reports & Graphs (previously they might be hidden behind other windows and could be hard to find)
  8. graphs and reports will now only allow you to enter items that actually exist in EMO data
  9. graphs and reports will now allow you to select Reserve Regions and Generators to report on or graph
  10. supply curve graph issue fixed
  11. SPD daily data file processing bug fixed - we were not always picking up the version of these files matching final pricing, leading to solves in EMO (Scenarios and Forecasts) which did not match the market.
  12. bugs in the dispatch and pricing algorithm for solves in Scenarios and Forecasts fixed
  13. time to dispatch (solve) difficult periods reduced in many cases
  14. reserve offers can be changed in the Units window in a Scenario

EMO 4.11.2 Released 2-May-13

  • Bug fixed in demand profile import for Powerflow mode
  • Bug fixed in generation profile import for Powerflow mode
  • EMO now automatically checks for new grid and reserves data when you start the program (if you leave EMO running overnight then you need to check manually when you come back to it)
  • The File Inputs window EMO now shows the date to which input data is believed to be valid
  • If you select a day in Market view for which EMO believes there is incomplete data, then "Incomplete Data" will show in read near the top left corner of the Main window. Hover over this and it shows the date to which inputs are available. Click on this and it opens the File Inputs window.
  • EMO Help will now take you to this new wiki on the web. The wiki replaces the old online help and the user manual. It is easier and cheaper to maintain than the old manual and help material.
  • We advise you check that the excluded items (see the Edit menu) include the following 8 wind farms: MAH, NZW, TAP, TUK, TWC, TWF, WHL, WWD
  • Also check that the constraints DCSA_BenP1Aout, DCSA_BenP1Bout, DCSA_HayP1Aout, DCSA_HayP1Bout are excluded.
  • EMO 4.11.2 is available at
  • The password is available for licensed users from ddi 03 474 9379.

EMO 4.10.4 Released 30-Oct-12

There was a bug in EMO 4.10.3 when loading demand data into a Forecast from a file. EMO would halt with an exception notice from which clicking Continue would not recover. The bug was caused by an array which overflowed when reading the demand from the csv file.

EMO 4.10.3 Released 31-Jul-12

Quote of the year from Matt Woods, our Development Manager: “it’s like wading through mud” as he referred to the difficulties he experienced interpreting the data in the SPD daily case data files from which we now extract reserves, grid and constraint data. A long process, but we’re pretty much there now and Matt has even developed a nice developer’s utility for analysing the daily case data.
The result is that EMO 4.10.3 is now ready for release in beta version (which means that our users need to perform their own testing before it can be confirmed as a final version before it can be confirmed as a final release).
Previous Release (EMO 4.8.2) will not be Supported Much Longer
The previous version release in Dec-11 uses a slightly different update mechanism for updating the grid and reserves inputs data files, which won’t be supported once all users on the latest version EMO 4.10.3. For that reason, we want to get all users onto 4.10.3 as quickly as possible.
Changes in the new version are listed below.
Input Data

1. Full grid data is available back to 22 July 2009 using the new data from the SPD daily case files (and prior to that using the old grid format data, although we are no longer supporting this older data).

2. Full reserves data is also available back to January 2010 (but not prior to that date).

3. Additional constraints associated with frequency keeping generators (constraining them up or down so that they operate within their FK range) are now captured and available in the constraints files.

4. Additional constraints associated with line outages are now captured and included in the constraints files.

5. The grid and reserves files will be updated most business days.

6. Items 1 – 5 above mean that EMO will be ready to solve the market without any manual input of reserves data or additional constraints.

To get the latest data files, use File>File Inputs
Go to the Download tab and click on the button labelled Check for New Files. If you have any problems with this, please contact Matt.
Really Useful Changes to the User Interface

7. When you create a Scenario EMO will remember whether you last solved with or without reserves, and offer this as the default.

8. You can now add items to Watch Lists from all windows (not just from the map), e.g. right click on a row of offers in the Units window, or on an equation constraint in the Constraints window, and add it to a watch list.

9. The Data Sources window (lower right hand corner, where you see Market, Forecasts, Powerflows and Scenarios in a folder structure) has the ability to filter what you see in this window down to a particular day or trading period. This makes it easier to work with Scenarios and Forecasts.

10. Use Ctrl-Shift-C to copy data and column headings onto the Clipboard.

Other Improvements

11. We’ve started on making improvements to the way the HVDC link is modelled. We had hoped to get all of the changes in this release, but some more subtle changes are required and will be released later.

12. The performance of the solver was improved to handle the many additional constraints now included in the grid, constraints and reserves files.

13. A few bugs were found and fixed including handling of constraints on the HVDC link.

Important Information About Solves (Forecasts and Scenarios)
Where there are differences between solves produced by EMO and SPD, these are now likely to be caused by:

1. your input data being wrong or incomplete: this is the single biggest cause of problems with EMO’s solves, and if you have any doubts about your inputs, or which inputs to use, please feel free to call us to discuss;

2. your input data being wrong or incomplete (just repeating this for emphasis);

3. the handling of the HVDC link in EMO is slightly different to the handling in SPD;

4. there is a known issue with EMO’s pricing (but not dispatch) in some cases when a constraint creates a very large price difference across some parts of the grid;

5. EMO is a non-linear model (and hence models losses as quadratic losses) whereas SPD is a linear model and has to approximate quadratic losses with linear losses.

EMO 4.8.2 Released 23-Dec-11

This version is no longer supported as it is superseded by EMO 4.10.4.
Grid Data
  • There is a new file for VLRs which, during the VLR trial, will be created manually. When we know what format they will be delivered in on a permanent basis, then the new formatted will be handled in EMO and data capture automated. There is a limitation with the VLRs in this EMO version:
    • note that DST changes are not handled exactly using these trial ratings;
  • There is a new window for grid data, accessed from File Menu>Grid Data:
    • this used to be accessed from File>Data Sources;
    • this is the window where you now go to download new grid files;
    • this window shows when the default ratings are valid and whether they ratings follow a SSW (summer shoulder winter) or VLR (variable line rating) scheme;
    • click on the Download EMO Grid Files button to check for and load new grid files;
    • the Use File Sourced Grid button is currently disabled, but files are used anyway;
    • the table shows the dates and trading periods (Valid from and Valid to) between which the latest default ratings apply.
  • Double click on any line in the table to see the default ratings that apply.
    • For VLR lines:
      • the table shows 6 MW capacity values and 5 TP (trading periods)
      • the MW capacity in the first column applies from TP 1 to the 1 TP before the TP shown in the first TP column, and so on, e.g. “400 15 367 19” would mean 400 MW from TP 1 to 14, 367 MW from TP 15 to 18, and so on;
    • For SSW lines the shows the summer, shoulder and winter ratings that apply;
    • The Reratings tab shows a limited history of re-ratings that reflect outages or partial outages on the line, as represented in the new grid data files;
    • The Dec row may not display correctly (known bug) but nevertheless the VLR ratings are applied correctly in EMO.
  • Re-ratings changes:
    • EMO now distinguishes changes in the default ratings (SSW or VLR) from other re-ratings, which will make the new re-ratings file smaller;
    • even with the new grid files, there is no way of knowing if an outage present in the last few tradings periods in the file will persist, e.g. the permanent split between FHL and WPW. As a solution, any line in an outage (capacity = zero) for the last 48 trading periods in the grid files is assumed to be in outage into the future;
  • Delays in getting grid data: users have noted delays of up to 10 days in getting the raw SPD final pricing case data posted on the EA’s web site, which apparently occurred due to the need to handle files manually. But the EA advised us that the process would be automated and the data available from an FTP server: this has now happened. We are working through re-automating the capture process at our end, and this will be completed early next year;
  • refreshing grid files: if you think your grid files are corrupt (perhaps you opened one in Excel, modified it and then saved it again), the easiest solution is to delete the file(s) and then get EMO to check for new files from the File Menu>Grid Data window (click the Download EMO Grid Files button).
Demand Data
Our recommendation for demand data continues to be to use the SPD demand data from WITS. Find this by logging onto WITS and selecting GXP Demand from the Market Data menu. To get accurate solves in EMO which mirror final prices, you must select Final as the Price Type. You will also need to do a multiple selection to get all nodes.
BE WARNED - this data appears to be provisional in many cases and is often updated when final prices are published, so you need to make sure that you have the latest data that is consistent with final prices.
BE WARNED AGAIN - if you use any other data set, then you may not get accurate solves with EMO. In many cases, small changes in demand make a big difference to the solve.

This data is what is used in SPD for solving final prices. It is gross demand with some important exceptions:

  1. wind farm output is netted off GXP/GIP demand. At grid-connected wind farm GIPs, therefore, you will find either negative or zero values. At GXPs with embedded wind farms you will find positive and sometimes also negative values, depending on whether or not the wind farms cause export to the grid;
  2. generation under 10 MW has a blanket exemption from offering so is netted off GXP demand, in the same way as embedded wind farms.

There are two key aspects to getting the demand right: one is to use the correct demand data, as described above, but the second is ensure that you are not double counting any generators. Whereas generation under 10 MW is not offered and therefore won’t have offers appear in the daily offer data, wind farms over 10 MW do offer and their offers do appear in the daily offer data. If you don’t remove the wind farm offers then you will double count their output in your solves. Solution: make sure you use the demand data described above, and then also exclude all wind farms by going to Edit>Excluded Items. As of this date, the excluded items should include the following:

Embedded Generators	Excluded Equations

NZW	                DCSA_BenP1Aout

TAP	                DCSA_BenP1Bout

TUK	                DCSA_HayP1Aout

TWF	                DCSA_HayP1Bout



The wind farms above are NZ Windfarms Te Rere Hau, Te Apiti, te Uku, Tararua Windfarm, White Hill and West Wind. The excluded equations above relate to the HVDC link and are not required by EMO.


  • The offers that you can change in a Scenario are shaded in a much brighter yellow which makes them easier to see on a laptop screen.

Bug fixes:

  • the offers graph Edit>Supply & Demand>Offer Graph now loads much quicker
  • detection of an infeasible solution was improved to reduce the occurrence of false infeasibilities.