Markets, Policy, and Computation Minitrack

Public concerns about the adverse environmental and health effects of using fossil fuels and nuclear power to generate electricity have led to a greater reliance on renewable sources of generation that are inherently variable and uncertain. This trend is accompanied by increased proliferation of distributed resources, storage and smart grid technologies that facilitate demand response and greater observability of the grid. As a result the electric power industry faces new challenges in planning and operation of the power system that require new market mechanisms and computational optimization tools to achieve productive and allocative efficiencies. A key concept in addressing the new challenges associated with renewables integration and in mobilizing a diverse resource portfolio to mitigate the uncertainty and variability of these intermittent resources is flexibility. Hence the central theme of this mini track revolves around identifying metrics and the needs for flexibility based on available data, characterizing market products and public policies that incentivizes flexibility and optimizing resource use to meet flexibility needs so as to assure system reliability in face of uncertainty at least cost. The first session focuses on identifying the needs for flexibility and market constructs that will facilitate the mobilization procurement and deployment of resources that provide flexibility (including generation, storage, transmission and demand). The second session focuses on computational aspects of optimizing the planning, operation and procurement of a diverse resource portfolio, including power flow and unit commitment optimization under uncertainty.

Minitrack Chair:

Shmuel S. Oren
University of California at Berkeley

Session 1: Market Design and Analysis
Session Organizer and Session Chair: Richard D. Tabors,

High penetration levels of variable resources such as wind and solar power introduce significant uncertainty and variability into the power system and electricity markets creating high and unpredictable ramps in net load. Such ramps present a great challenge for system operators who must maintain reliable operation and efficient markets with simultaneous maximum utilization of renewable energy. Furthermore, procuring and maintaining sufficient reserves on hand in anticipation of such ramps often requires out of merit dispatch and high levels of costly reserves. Incentivizing investment and market participation by diverse resources on the supply and demand side who can provide flexibility economically requires new market mechanisms and operating procedures.

This session aims to bring together leading researchers for comprehensive discussion of appropriate metrics and market constructs for flexibility in electric energy systems. The flexibility will be inherently multi-time-scale, and can be extracted from supply/demand side, energy storage, as well as the delivery infrastructure of the electric energy system (e.g. topology control and FACTS). Papers that discuss innovative assessment and provision of flexibility from both theoretical and empirical perspectives are encouraged.

Session 2: Frontiers in Power Systems Optimization
Session Organizer and Session Chair: Bill Rosehart,

The evolution of the Electric Power system with increased data and information being available for planning, operations and control is presenting new challenges in optimization and computation. Furthermore, the proliferation of intermittent and variable resources, distributed generation, storage and demand response requires new analytic tools capable of handling far greater levels of both temporal and spatial data and dealing with uncertainty and variability on the supply and demand side. Issues of meeting ramping requirements given greater penetration of renewable resources; of increased technology options that can provide flexibility in real time operations; and new sources of distributed generation and storage require advances in both the development and application of optimization tools. Recent progress in optimization theory and software development complimented by dramatic increases in the capability of low cost computer hardware is opening the door for a new generation of software for Electric Power Systems to address the above challenges through new problem formulations and algorithm design.

The objective of this session is to bring together papers focused on new problem formulations, algorithmic developments and computational advances focusing on improvements of solution quality and computational efficiency in optimization of planning, operation and market clearing for the electric power industry. Papers focusing on new approaches to power flow optimization, stochastic and robust unit commitment, topology control, chance constrained optimization and multi-objective programming are particularly encouraged.

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