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Electricity Market Design Strategies for Hydro-dominated Power Systems

Exploring Optimal Bidding, Planning, and Strategic Operation through Various Market Design Strategies

Time: Wed 2024-05-15 10.00

Location: Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, Stockholm

Video link:

Language: English

Subject area: Electrical Engineering Economics

Doctoral student: Abolfazl Khodadadi , Elkraftteknik, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Power and Electricity Market

Opponent: Principal Research Scientist Audun Botterud, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Supervisor: Professor Lennart Söder, Elkraftteknik

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QC 20240415


The existing wholesale power markets in Nordic countries play a vital role in ensuring the planned balance between supply and demand. However, these markets do not guarantee real-time operational security of the power system. This responsibility falls on the transmission system operator (TSO), who balances consumption and generation in real-time to maintain a secure state.

To address these issues, a series of research studies have been performed in this thesis to delve into the intricacies of Nordic balancing markets and propose strategies to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness. These studies have been conducted around the hydropower units as the main generation sources in the Nordic electricity markets. These studies recognize the potential benefits of versatile balancing markets and increased trade of flexible resources with Continental Europe. 

Additionally, the research results shed light on the optimal bidding strategies for hydropower plants (HPPs) in the day-ahead energy and manual frequency restoration reserve (mFRR) markets. HPPs play a crucial role as a flexible energy source, and their participation in these markets requires careful planning and decision-making. The studies consider various factors such as market rules, mFRR capacity market, future electricity prices, and the impact of active-time duration of balancing energy market offers on revenue generation. This inclusion provides a more realistic revenue portfolio for the operators based on the possibility of not being dispatched in the balancing market. 

Furthermore, the research explores the concept of flexible stochastic scheduling strategies in hydropower-dominated energy markets. By considering day-ahead energy markets, mFRR markets, and the interaction between different market setups. These strategies provide the necessary flexibility for both the planning and operational stages. The aim is to maximize the profits of the hydropower units while addressing the opportunity cost of saving water and meeting the mFRR capacity requirements imposed by the TSO. Participation in new market setups is an increasingly interesting framework for the operator after the recent introduction of those markets and the results of this section help them to form more profitable decision-making frameworks for their assets. 

Moreover, the optimal strategic portfolio assessment of HPPs in a multi-settlement market is discussed. Recognizing the increasing electricity prices and the growing penetration of renewable energy resources, these studies leverage bilevel programming problems to model the strategic behavior of HPPs in day-ahead and frequency containment reserve markets. The proposed approaches aim to enhance decision-making processes, promote market efficiency, and enable effective asset management in a dynamic and evolving energy landscape to make more informed multi-market trading decisions. 

Also, the research examines the dimensioning of frequency restoration reserves in a multi-area power system, specifically focusing on the Nordic case study. By adopting a sequential dimensioning methodology and employing chance-constrained optimization, the studies allocate reserves based on system needs, optimize line flows, and reduce total reserve requirements. The results highlight the potential for sharing reserves among bidding zones in the Nordic synchronous area, contributing to a more efficient and coordinated power system operation.

Lastly, a thorough investigation has been performed to assess the effectiveness of the current contract-for-difference contracts as the main support schemes for the development of new renewable energy assets. Case studies have been conducted to demonstrate quantitatively the pros and cons of different proposals and provide new hints for policy-makers about their future decisions.