Unit Commitment With Gas Network Awareness
Published 2019-02-08Version 1
Recent changes in the fuel mix for electricity generation and, in particular, the increase in Gas-Fueled Power Plants (GFPP), have created significant interdependencies between the electrical power and natural gas transmission systems. However, despite their physical and economic couplings, these networks are still operated independently, with asynchronous market mechanisms. This mode of operation may lead to significant economic and reliability risks in congested environments as revealed by the 2014 polar vortex event experienced by the northeastern United States. To mitigate these risks, while preserving the current structure of the markets, this paper explores the idea of introducing gas network awareness into the standard unit commitment model. Under the assumption that the power system operator has some (or full) knowledge of gas demand forecast and the gas network, the paper proposes a tri-level mathematical program where natural gas zonal prices are given by the dual solutions of natural-gas flux conservation constraints and commitment decisions are subject to bid-validity constraints that ensure the economic viability of the committed GFPPs. This tri-level program can be reformulated as a single-level Mixed-Integer Second-Order Cone program which can then be solved using a dedicated Benders decomposition. The approach is validated on a case study for the Northeastern United States  that can reproduce the gas and electricity price spikes experienced during the early winter of 2014. The results on the case study demonstrate that gas awareness in unit commitment is instrumental in avoiding the peaks in electricity prices while keeping the gas prices to reasonable levels.