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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Industries Electric Industry Activities Increasing Efficiency through Improved Software

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June 2010 Technical Conferences

Commission staff convened three technical conferences on June 2-3, June 9-10, and June 23-24, 2010, to discuss opportunities for increasing real-time and day-ahead market efficiency through improved software. The technical conferences were held in the Commission Meeting Room at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20426.

These conferences brought together diverse experts from ISOs/RTOs, non-market utilities, the software industry, government, research centers and academia for the purposes of stimulating discussion and sharing of information about the technical aspects of these issues and identifying fruitful avenues for research. Commission staff focused this conference on the specific topics indicated below. Through these presentations, Commission staff sought to explore advancements related to these technologies, the potential benefits or costs associated with these advancements, and how such advancements may be incorporated into power market operations.

June 2-3, 2010

Enhanced ISO and RTO Unit-Commitment Models
This conference focused on improving the performance of the day-ahead market and the integration of variable resources, demand resources (DR, DG, and storage) and other technologies by developing unit-commitment models that consider uncertainty and that can accommodate more robust physical and market constraints. Improvements in formulations and solution techniques for unit-commitment were presented and discussed. Better modeling was discussed for both new and existing assets. Technology-specific modeling issues and bidding parameters were discussed for a wide range of resources including wind, solar, demand resources (DR, DG, and storage), electric vehicles, dispatchable transmission, and combined cycle generating stations. Additional topics discussed at this conference included co-optimization (with respect to energy, reserves, ramp rates, and network topology), settlement calculations, and development of a unit-commitment test bed to benchmark the speed of solution techniques.

June 9-10, 2010

Enhanced Wide-Area Planning Models
This conference focused on enabling a more efficient planning and cost allocation process through the employment of better large-scale transmission expansion and economic planning models. Integration of more components of the planning process into a single modeling framework should lead to an overall improvement in planning efficiency. Better models are required to efficiently plan transmission investments in an environment of competitive markets with locationally-constrained variable resources. Discussions at the conference included issues surrounding the integration and modeling of variable energy resources and demand resources (DR, DG, and storage) in planning software. Additional issues discussed included planning under uncertainty, optimal selection of transmission investments among alternatives, modeling generation expansions in transmission planning models, detailed representation of the transmission system in economic planning models, incorporating reliability and adequacy requirements into economic planning models, market-based investment models, and development of a planning model test bed to benchmark models and techniques. Algorithmic approaches in economic planning were also presented and discussed.

June 23-24, 2010

Enhanced Real-Time Optimal Power Flow Market Models
This conference focused on improving dispatch of generation assets, integration of variable energy resources and demand resources (DR, DG, and storage), utilization of flexible transmission assets, and incentives for efficient transmission and generation investment through the development of a large-scale AC optimal power flow (AC OPF) model with sufficient usability and speed to facilitate better unit-commitment and real-time dispatch, including the optimal dispatch and pricing of reactive power from generators, transmission assets and load. Development of an AC power system test bed to benchmark the speed of solution techniques was also discussed.