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Exploiting symmetry in unit commitment solutions for a large-scale electricity market

: Alemany, J.; Komarnicki, P.; Lin, J.; Magnago, F.


Electric power systems research 140 (2016), S.363-377
ISSN: 0378-7796
Fraunhofer IFF ()

Symmetry is a natural phenomenon that appears when an electric system has identical generating units. As a core function in any electricity market, the unit commitment algorithm solves a very large-scale mixed-integer based optimization problem. In this work, the symmetric properties that exist in a competitive electricity market are exploited in improving the performance of its unit commitment solutions. A static symmetry removal strategy based on hierarchical constraints is proposed. They establish priorities for the unit status variables. Extensive numerical examples are illustrated using a real-world, large-scale electricity market. Two available commercial solvers are used to compare the performance of each solver with and without our proposed method. Results show that there are opportunities to improve the unit commitment solutions if the symmetric properties of the market system are properly exploited.