Risk-Aware Power System Control, Dispatch and Market Incentives

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New York, New York
Project Term:
09/24/2020 - 07/01/2024

Technology Description:

The power industry sees risk as statistically independent of today's operational practices and regulations. The challenge is convincing the industry to proactively and explicitly study, quantify, price, and incorporate risk into dispatch and response algorithms. Columbia University will develop a risk dashboard to address this challenge that will enable independent system operators (ISOs) of the electrical grid to compute and analyze engineering and financial risks occurring on operational time scales ranging from several minutes to days. This dashboard will facilitate efficient and accurate interpretations of complex scenario-based risk analyses (for both asset and system levels). The dashboard will rely on stress-testing statistical factor models and newly designed energy asset and systemic risk metrics to continuously track system and market conditions and proactively dispatch available resources to avoid insecure operations. This project will develop a risk-versus-cost tradeoff for grid operations and will leverage the flexibility of renewable, demand, and storage resources to reduce risk while compensating these assets accordingly. The team will leverage financial risk management instruments to hedge against losses under severe or complex energy scenarios to reconcile technical risks identified using developed risk metrics.

Potential Impact:

PERFORM projects will design methods and risk scores to clearly communicate the physical delivery risk of an energy asset’s offer and design grid management systems that organically capture uncertainty. These management systems will evaluate and hedge the system risk position to meet or exceed a baseline system risk index. This pursuit will achieve the following area impacts:


Optimal utilization of renewable and clean resources for all grid services improves grid reliability, reduces energy imports, and provides a sustainable path to energy independence.


When low- or zero-emission assets provide all grid products and services, grid operations are no longer reliant on legacy, carbon-heavy centralized generation assets, which enables the grid to absorb more clean resources.


Innovation in grid management will reduce consumer costs, increase the value of emerging technologies, and help achieve a clean and sustainable electric power sector. Merging risk techniques in power systems with those from finance and actuarial science enables further economic growth and redefines the role of electric power sector entities.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Jonathan Glass
Project Contact:
Prof. Daniel Bienstock
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


University of Arizona
New York University

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