Nine energy traders have teamed up to form the Energy TradingStandards Group, an open consortium that plans to work towarddeveloping standards to automate the sale of wholesale energy andto improve information sharing among traders.

One of the consortium’s co-founders, HoustonStreet, also saidlast week that it was extending its wholesale energy-tradingplatform to Europe and would launch those operations Sept. 27.

ETSG, the new trading group, plans to develop open standardsbased upon extensible markup language, or XML, considered the goldstandard for Internet commerce. Initially, the companies plan tocreate standards to exchange data between online trading platformsand for transaction/risk management systems used by wholesaleelectricity and natural gas trading companies.

The consortium plans to develop standards to improve theexternal exchange of transaction and related data among energytrading partners, basically setting up a one-size-fits-alllanguage.

ETSG’s co-founder, Caminus Corp., joins ABB Energy InformationSystems, Automated Power Exchange, Open Link Energy, RedMeteor.comInc., Triple Point Technology Inc., GFInet and Sapient. Othercompanies also will be encouraged to join.

“XML is rapidly becoming the key data interchange standard fortime-critical, high volume information sharing on the Web, and is astep toward improving operational efficiency in trading systems,”said Amini Rawji, TransCanada Energy vice president. TransCanada isactive in the energy markets.

ETSG will streamline the “deal capture” process by creating openstandards that automate the internal data exchange betweenfront-line traders and their company’s mid- and back-officetransaction management systems. The automation process is expectedto save energy traders time and money by reducing errors on tradeticket generation and data entry. It also will provide real-timeaccess to trade data and reduce the cost of building and managingproprietary systems and connectors.

In its second announcement last week, HoustonStreet said thatElectrabel, RWE and Vattenfall, three of the top energy companiesin Europe, have invested an undisclosed amount of money toward aliquid over-the-counter marketplace for energy trading companies.They also plan to integrate HoustonStreet into their e-commercestrategies.

Initially, HoustonStreet, headquartered in Portsmouth, NH, willprovide traders with a single pan-European marketplace for buyingand selling electricity, rolling out the platform to differentregions in stages, kicking off the platform at the end of thismonth.

In August, HoustonStreet joined the Organization for theAdvancement of Structured Information Standards – OASIS – to bringopen standards to wholesale energy trading. Through theindependent, nonprofit OASIS, which is dedicated to cultivating XMLto simplify business practices, HoustonStreet said it wanted toencourage industry trading efficiency.

Carolyn Davis, Houston

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