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M-co: Background to COMIT

What does COMIT Do?

Background to COMIT

COMIT is a flexible, custom-built web-based application that provides a gateway for electricity generators and purchasers to trade over the world wide web.

M-co developed COMIT to handle the vast volume of transactions and meet the stringent demands for security within the electricity market.

Currently around 685,000 electricity transactions and related records go through COMIT every day. This data is complex. Each transaction has a unique identification number and includes a number of calculations. The average volume of information processed on a daily basis is:
 40,000 Bids
 9,000 Offers
 6,500 Reserve Offers
 500,000 Schedule records
 130,000 Prices

All NZ$5 billion worth of transactions have proceeded without default on payment thanks to the integrity of COMT and the stringent rules and prudential requirements placed on all COMIT users.


Flexibility
COMIT was designed to be flexible in various ways. It can:
 Easily adapt to meet the evolving needs of the New Zealand electricity market,
 Be used by many types of market,
 Provide an effective front end for major internationally accepted electricity management systems including ESCA and ABB, and
 Be deployed using either the Internet or Extranet with either a Web front end or an automation front end.

A significant portion of COMIT is ‘shrink-wrapped’ which means it provides a front-end mechanism for a customer’s own database that uses standard applications.

COMIT is updated in real time throughout the every day to ensure all the data is current. It has an availability rating in excess of 99.7%.


Database
COMIT is essentially the front end of the system, dealing with the capture and processing of the electronic data i.e. bids, offers and delivery of prices and schedules to Market Participants. It is a true 'Information Portal'.

In order to complete the exchange of a large amount of information every day, COMIT needs a Database robust enough to cope with a large amount of complex data, both in a transactional sense, and in storage capacity. M-co opted for an Oracle back-end.


Security
Emphasis is placed on protecting the integrity of data on COMIT through SSL and firewall technology as well as requirements to meet the stringent rules of the wholesale electricity market. Further security levels have been added through modulisation, with users permissioned to have access only to selected and approved modules of COMIT.


CHASM
The CHASM system supports COMIT. The main function of CHASM is to settle the transactions that occur in COMIT. Purchasers are invoiced for the electricity they have used. This revenue is then collected and allocated to generators based on what they have generated.

CHASM is also used to hold historical data such as prices and offers. Some historical data can be queried from the COMIT system providing the user with access to information dating back to the start of the market.


System Specifications
The primary COMIT & CHASM reside on Sun Enterprise E3500 Server (100 gig) with 2 disk arrays mirrored and striped with RAID5.

The primary web server is a SunSparc20.

The backup COMIT & CHASM reside on a Sun UltraSPARC2 machine with upgraded CPUs (800MHz).

COMIT is around 5 gigabytes. CHASM is around 20 gigabytes. Since they are both needed to service the market's needs they can essentially be treated as one.

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