General Resources on the
Restructuring of Electric Power Systems

Last Updated: 25 February 2024

Site Developed By:
Leigh Tesfatsion
Professor Emerita of Economics
Courtesy Research Professor of
   Electrical & Computer Engineering
Heady Hall 260
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011-1054
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-7783-2708
https://faculty.sites.iastate.edu/tesfatsi
tesfatsi AT iastate.edu

Electric Power Markets: Course (undergrad/M.S.)
Electric Power Markets: Open-Source Software
Agent-Based Electric Power System Research
Electric Power System Schematic

Table of Contents

Site Disclaimer:
Unfortunately, links to many excellent electric power system resources originally posted here are now broken and had to be removed. Below are annotated pointers to remaining still-available online resources (plus journal-published materials) that visitors might find useful for their work or of historical interest.

Introduction

Since the mid-1990s the U.S. electric power industry has undergone substantial changes in both its structure (ownership and technology aspects) and its architecture (operational and oversight aspects). The industry has shifted away from highly regulated markets with administered cost-based pricing and towards competitive markets in which prices more fully reflect supply and demand forces.

The intended purpose of these changes has been to give U.S. electric power industry participants more incentive to control costs and to engage in innovative product development. These efforts have resulted in the formation of seven grid-supported wholesale electric power markets, centrally-managed by Independent System Operators (ISOs) and Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs).

The primary goal of this resource site, since its launch in 1999, has been to encourage researchers to tackle the restructuring of the U.S. electric power industry from a multi-disciplinary perspective that considers both economic and engineering concerns.

The U.S. electric power industry is now facing a major new challenge that dramatically increases the need for this multi-disciplinary perspective. In response to both private economic incentives and public policy initiatives, the industry is transitioning from its traditional heavy reliance on fossil-fuel based power to an increased reliance on renewable power -- e.g., wind and photovoltaic (PV) solar power.

This transition is resulting in more uncertain and volatile grid net load, i.e., customer power withdrawals and inadvertent power losses minus non-dispatched power injections by renewable power facilities not fully firmed by storage. In consequence, it is becoming harder for central managers to ensure the advance availability of dispatchable power resources with sufficient flexibility in their power-production capabilities to permit the continual real-time balancing of grid net load by means of centrally-dispatched power injections, a basic requirement for reliabile grid operation.

This major new challenge is explained and analyzed with care in the following linked materials:

Research on possible resolutions to this major new challenge is now so extensive that no one resource site can do justice to the literature. However, it is hoped that the annotated linked/cited resources provided below will be of some use to those who wish to understand the motivation, ideas, and initiatives that have led the U.S. electric power industry to its current form and that continue to drive efforts for its further change.

Online Resource Sites

Historical Background Materials

Electric Power System Operations

Authored Readings:

On-Line Sites Focusing on the Electric Power Industry:

Agent-Based Computational Economics (ACE)

Authored Readings:

ACE-Related Websites:

Auction Mechanisms (Pricing Protocols)

Authored Readings:

Game Theory (Pricing and Trading Strategies)

Authored Readings:

Websites on Game Theory:

Learning and the Evolution of Behavioral Rules

Authored Readings:

Websites:

Network Economics

Websites:

Software Resources

Case Study Resources


U.S. RESTRUCTURED WHOLESALE ELECTRIC POWER MARKETS: Homepages


GENERAL REGULATORY POLICY:


CASE STUDIES: GENERAL INFORMATION SOURCES


AUSTRALIA:


CALIFORNIA, U.S.A.:

Authored Readings:

Websites on the California Electric Power Industry:


MIDWEST, U.S.A.


NEW ENGLAND, U.S.A.:


NEW YORK, U.S.A.:


NEW ZEALAND:

Authored Readings:


PENNSYLVANIA-NEW JERSEY-MARYLAND, U.S.A.:


Southwest, U.S.A. (SPP):


SPAIN:

Authored Readings:


TEXAS, U.S.A.:


UNITED KINGDOM:

Authored Readings:

Websites on the United Kingdom Electricity Industry:


OTHER CASE STUDY RESOURCES

Online Resources:

Early "Smart Grid" Conceptions

Acknowledgments:

The initial development of this website in 1999 was funded in part by the National Science Foundation under a contract titled "Decision Models for Bulk Energy Transportation Networks." Subsequent development has been funded in part by Electric Power Research Center (EPRC) research grants, by the Los Alamos National Laboratory under a consultancy agreement, and by the Electric Power Research Institute and the Department of Defense through a contract titled "Innovative Technologies for Defense Against Catastrophic Failures of Complex Interactive Power Networks," a cooperative effort by Iowa State University, the University of Washington, Arizona State University, and Virginia Polytechnic and State University under a Joint Initiative on the Analysis of Complex Dynamical Systems.

Copyright © Leigh Tesfatsion. All Rights Reserved.