What generation scheduling is about can in a simplistic manner be described as the process of how to plan the utilization of generation resources in such a way that expected long term revenues from the generation is maximized while all relevant constrain are considered.
For every half percent we manage to increase the efficiency of the Norwegian hydropower, we gain an energy volume of one “Alta power plant” (0.65 TWh). Every percent that we are able to increase the value of Norwegian hydropower in the interplay with Europe we increase the value for society with 63 Mill €. This is one of the major motivation factors for our work continuously improve the tools that is used in the power industry.
Boundary conditions for the power industry are in constant change, and this initiates new research and development. Currently the work is related to the vision in Energy21 that among other points to Norway as a balance nation. New challenges are introduced in the interplay with the European thermal system as increasing volumes of RES from wind, solar and wave power is implemented. The competence on stochastic modeling with storage handling that exists within the team is sought for in Europe and this gives us new targets to reach for.
Based on this definition generation scheduling for hydropower is complicated because the decisions are interconnected in time and space as well and future precipitation is difficult to predict with certainty. For hydropower the generation scheduling problem can be formulated as a stochastic dynamic optimization problem. In practice this problem is so huge that it cannot be solved directly and the optimization problem is often split into different separate tasks dependent on planning horizon:
- Long term planning 5-10 years ahead in time
- Seasonal planning 1-2 years ahead in time
- Short term scheduling 1-2 weeks ahead in time
SINTEF Energy has 40 years experience with generation scheduling in hydro thermal power systems and has over the years developed a number of scheduling models suited for this purpose.
Models for generation scheduling of hydropower is the core activity in the team. SINTEF Energy aims for scientific excellence and the models are among the best in the world for market based hydro thermal scheduling and have a dominant market position in Scandinavia.
The models are used for:
- Forecasting market prices for: power, certificates,, and emissions
- Energy system analysis
- Generation scheduling for hydropower
- Investment analysis
This unique position comes from the distinctive characters of the Scandinavian power generation which have a high share of adjustable hydropower and a historical early establishment of a deregulated market for electricity. Characteristics, which both has functioned as drivers for model development for market based energy system with a stochastic resource supply but also large storage options.
Most models have been developed and refitted over many years based on a close collaboration between SINTEF, NTNU, generation companies and the interest organization Energy Norway.