Midwest ISO Competing for INFORMS Edelman Prize


Ashley Smith
Public Affairs Coordinator

HANOVER, MD, March 21, 2011 – Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator’s analytics team is among six finalists that will compete for the INFORMS 2011 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences in Chicago on April 11 at the Marriott Chicago Downtown.

The finalists for the competition, sponsored by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®), include:

Midwest ISO with Alstom Grid, The Glarus Group, Paragon Decision Technology, and Utilicast for “Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator Applies Operations Research to Energy and Ancillary Services Markets, Unlocking Billions of Savings.”

Driven by the goal of minimizing delivered wholesale energy costs reliably, Midwest ISO with the support of Alstom Grid, The Glarus Group, and Paragon Decision Technology used operations research to design and launch its energy-only market on April 1, 2005, and introduced its energy and ancillary services markets on Jan. 6, 2009.

By leveraging advances in computing capabilities and OR algorithms, the Midwest ISO added significant value to the Midwest region through improved reliability and increased efficiencies of the region’s power plants and transmission assets. Based on its annual Value Proposition study, the Midwest ISO region realized between $2.1 and $3.0 billion in cumulative savings from 2007 through 2010. Midwest ISO estimates an additional $6.1 to $8.1 billion of value will be achieved through 2020.

“The Midwest ISO is able to provide this value by applying new, complex analysis and optimization techniques on a broad regional basis,” said John R. Bear, president and CEO of the Midwest ISO. “This enables both improved use of existing electric system assets as well as a reduced need for future assets.”

Midwest ISO has been essential in the deregulation of the wholesale electricity industry in the Midwest. Initially formed to facilitate unbiased access to the electric transmission lines, the non-profit Midwest ISO quickly undertook the development and implementation of robust, centrally administered energy and ancillary services markets.

Midwest ISO ensures reliable operation and equal access to high-voltage power lines in 13 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. The regional transmission organization manages one of the world's largest energy markets, clearing nearly $23 billion in energy transactions annually. Midwest ISO’s members include 35 transmission owners and 100 non-transmission owners

Alstom Grid is a supplier of advanced energy management software and systems, with solutions operating today that control 40% of all power flowing through the U.S. energy grid and that manage four of the country's seven energy markets. Alstom Grid Automation’s Network Management Solutions (NMS) product line offers a range of software packages and solutions built on a strong core offering designed to give customers the competitive edge in a demanding marketplace.

The Glarus Group delivers strategic advisory services, develops advanced technology solutions, and provides support services across the electric energy industry. Many established and emerging energy suppliers and utilities use the Glarus Group’s expertise to shape their strategy for a smart energy future.

Paragon is an innovative technology company with offices in Seattle, the Netherlands, and Singapore. For more than 20 years, Paragon has been developing and selling AIMMS, a mathematical optimization platform. AIMMS customers can create optimization engines and solutions that enable optimal decision making on complex strategic, tactical, or operational problems.

Utilicast provides professional services and industry expertise to regional transmission organizations, independent system operators, and electric utilities. Its network of consultants focuses on wholesale energy markets and helps clients meet their strategic and regulatory goals on time and on budget.

The six 2011 Franz Edelman finalists are:

  1. CSAV
  2. Fluor Corporation
  3. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC)
  4. IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)
  5. Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator
  6. New York State Department of Taxation and Finance

This is the 40th year of the prestigious Franz Edelman competition. The winner will be announced at a special awards banquet on April 11, 2011 during the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research. The conference takes place at the Marriott Chicago Downtown from April 10-12.


The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®) is an international scientific society with 10,000 members, including Nobel Prize laureates, dedicated to applying scientific methods to help improve decision-making, management, and operations. Members of INFORMS work in business, government, and academia. They are represented in fields as diverse as airlines, health care, law enforcement, the military, financial engineering, and telecommunications. INFORMS serves the scientific and professional needs of operations research analysts, experts in analytics, consultants, scientists, students, educators, and managers, as well as their institutions, by publishing a variety of journals that describe the latest research in operations research. INFORMS Online (IOL) is at www.informs.org. Further information about operations research can be found at www.scienceofbetter.org.