Evaluating and planning flexibility in sustainable power systems

Juan Ma, Vera Silva, Régine Belhomme, Daniel S. Kirschen, Luis F. Ochoa

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    Power systems have traditionally been designed to provide flexibility in a context where demand is met by bulk generation. The integration of variable and uncertain renewable generation sources, such as wind, increases the flexibility needed to maintain the load-generation balance. This paper aims to provide a systematic approach to evaluate the flexibility level and investigate the role of flexibility in generation planning and market operation. An offline index is proposed to estimate the technical ability of both the individual generators and the generation mix to provide the required flexibility. A dedicated unit construction and commitment (UCC) algorithm, able to consider plant investment and operation costs, is developed to determine the optimal investments in flexible generating units. Market simulation models are then implemented to determine the profits obtained from providing flexibility in different market designs. An adapted RTS-96 system is used to test the proposed models and the flexibility metric. Results demonstrate the validity of the UCC algorithm and the coherence of the proposed flexibility index. The analysis of the profits of flexibility shows that the market design plays an important role in the efficient deployment and subsequent profitability of flexibility resources. © 2010-2012 IEEE.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number6313967
    Pages (from-to)200-209
    Number of pages9
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Balancing market
    • day-ahead market
    • flexibility index
    • market design
    • profitability
    • rolling clearing
    • unit commitment and construction
    • wind power


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