Smart wholesale electricity markets: application and challenges for optimization


Date Thursday April 16th 2009
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium, PARC

PARC Forum

Socio economic forces, development in generation technologies and environmental considerations have lead to restructuring of the electric power systems in part of the USA and in many systems worldwide, transforming them from vertically integrated regulated monopolies to competitive market based systems. From a supply chain perspective competitive electricity markets represent, perhaps, the most challenging supply chain. The commodity is non-storable; demand is uncertain and highly correlated with weather, all the demand must be satisfied instantaneously with a high level of reliability (one day in ten years criteria for involuntary load curtailment). In addition service is provided over a network that is prone to congestion, flows over transmission lines cannot be directly controlled as in a transportation system (flows follow Kirchhoff’s laws) and the market is encumbered by numerous externalities and market power. In spite of such obstacles there has been fascinating developments in the design and operations of competitive electricity markets over the last decade through the use of state of the art optimization tools and economic principles. This talk will describe some of the key challenges in designing and operating competitive electricity markets. I will review the basic elements and alternative approaches adopted in different systems and discuss what we have learned so far in this area as well as current open problem and research activities.


Shmuel S. Oren is the Earl J. Isaac Chair Professor in the Science and Analysis of Decision Making in the Industrial Engineering and Operations Research department at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the Berkeley site director of PSERC – a multi-university Power System Engineering Research Center sponsored by the National Science Foundation and industry members. His academic research focuses on optimization methodology, on planning and scheduling of power systems and on economic aspects of electricity ma rket design and regulation. He has been a consultant to various private and government organizations in the US and abroad and is currently a Senior Adviser to the Market Oversight Division of the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), and a consultant to the Energy Division of the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC). He holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Technion in Israel and also M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Engineering Economic Systems from Stanford University. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and of INFORMS. Dr. Oren was a member of the research staff at PARC from 1972 to 1980.

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