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Electricity Markets for the Smart Grid: Networks, Timescales, and Integration with Control


Cai, Wuhan Desmond (2016) Electricity Markets for the Smart Grid: Networks, Timescales, and Integration with Control. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Z9BG2KZG.


We are at the dawn of a significant transformation in the electric industry. Renewable generation and customer participation in grid operations and markets have been growing at tremendous rates in recent years and these trends are expected to continue. These trends are likely to be accompanied by both engineering and market integration challenges. Therefore, to incorporate these resources efficiently into the grid, it is important to deal with the inefficiencies in existing markets. The goal of this thesis is to contribute new insights towards improving the design of electricity markets.

This thesis makes three main contributions. First, we provide insights into how the economic dispatch mechanism could be designed to account for price-anticipating participants. We study this problem in the context of a networked Cournot competition with a market maker and we give an algorithm to find improved market clearing designs. Our findings illustrate the potential inefficiencies in existing markets and provides a framework for improving the design of the markets. Second, we provide insights into the strategic interactions between generation flexibility and forward markets. Our key insight is an observation that spot market capacity constraints can significantly impact the efficiency and existence of equilibrium in forward markets, as they give producers incentives to strategically withhold offers from the markets. Third, we provide insights into how optimization decomposition theory can guide optimal design of the architecture of power systems control. In particular, we illustrate a context where decomposition theory enables us to jointly design market and control mechanisms to allocate resources efficiently across both the economic dispatch and frequency regulation timescales.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:electricity market, networked cournot, market maker, forward market, stackelberg, optimization decomposition, economic dispatch, frequency regulation
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Low, Steven H. (advisor)
  • Wierman, Adam C. (co-advisor)
  • Chandy, K. Mani (co-advisor)
  • Ledyard, John O. (co-advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Low, Steven H. (chair)
  • Wierman, Adam C.
  • Chandy, K. Mani
  • Ledyard, John O.
  • Doyle, John Comstock
  • Vaidyanathan, P. P.
Defense Date:9 March 2016
Non-Caltech Author Email:desmond.cai (AT)
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05262016-112813537
Persistent URL:
Cai, Wuhan Desmond0000-0001-9207-1890
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9765
Deposited By: Wuhan Desmond Cai
Deposited On:26 May 2016 20:45
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 00:13

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