Unit commitment with uncertainty

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This dissertation carries out an inter-disciplinary research of operations research, statistics, power system engineering, and economics. Specifically, this dissertation focuses on a special power system scheduling problem, a unit commitment

This dissertation carries out an inter-disciplinary research of operations research, statistics, power system engineering, and economics. Specifically, this dissertation focuses on a special power system scheduling problem, a unit commitment problem with uncertainty. This scheduling problem is a two-stage decision problem. In the first stage, system operator determines the binary commitment status (on or off) of generators in advance. In the second stage, after the realization of uncertainty, the system operator determines generation levels of the generators. The goal of this dissertation is to develop computationally-tractable methodologies and algorithms to solve large-scale unit commitment problems with uncertainty.

In the first part of this dissertation, two-stage models are studied to solve the problem. Two solution methods are studied and improved: stochastic programming and robust optimization. A scenario-based progressive hedging decomposition algorithm is applied. Several new hedging mechanisms and parameter selections rules are proposed and tested. A data-driven uncertainty set is proposed to improve the performance of robust optimization.

In the second part of this dissertation, a framework to reduce the two-stage stochastic program to a single-stage deterministic formulation is proposed. Most computation of the proposed approach can be done by offline studies. With the assistance of offline analysis, simulation, and data mining, the unit commitment problems with uncertainty can be solved efficiently.

Finally, the impacts of uncertainty on energy market prices are studied. A new component of locational marginal price, a marginal security component, which is the weighted shadow prices of the proposed security constraints, is proposed to better represent energy prices.