Coupling grid and market simulations for grid planning

Project state
Ein Trassenneubau ist im Zuge der Energiewende notwendig.
The energy transition will not succeed without expanding the grid. In the KoNeMaSim project, developers want to map future grid operations and enable efficient expansion. © bildergala -

The technical planning carried out in the past as part of the transmission system planning was particularly concerned with ensuring the supply security as economically as possible while taking into account the so-called N-1 criterion – i.e. ensuring safe functioning in the event of equipment failure. However, the traditional planning approach reached its limits with the liberalisation of the electricity markets and the increased European integration. Unified planning of the generation and transportation of energy is no longer possible. This means that not only the electricity grid but also the electricity markets now play an important role in ensuring economically efficient energy supplies.

In order to achieve the best possible results with the grid planning, this therefore requires a planning basis that takes into consideration the mutual interdependence of the grid operation and market. The researchers are also taking into account that increasingly new technologies such as FACTS (flexible AC transmission systems) and HVDC (high-voltage direct current transmission) are being used to ensure a flexible and secure grid operation.

Übersicht über das forschungsvorhaben KoNeMaSim
The schematic depicts the interdependencies for the grid expansion planning. © Konsortium KoNeMaSim

The aim of the KoNeMaSim project (coupling of grid and market simulations for grid planning) is to develop innovative methods for use in grid planning. For example, the developers want to facilitate a technically secure and economically efficient grid expansion. For the grid planning, they want to provide an improved depiction of the future grid operation coupled with the corresponding market activity. The most important interactions and some of the aspects dealt with are summarised in the following illustration.

The WILMAR/JMM market model is being used to depict the market. The research project is now aiming to record the interactions between the WILMAR/JMM model and the grid model as precisely as possible. This will enable the scientists to implement appropriate interfaces for the two simulation models in order, for example, to enable them to take the expected power plant use resulting from the market conditions into account in the grid planning.

JJM: A market model for intermittent energy generators

WILMAR (Wind Power Integration in Liberalised Electricity Markets) is an EU-funded research project. The aim of the project was to find out how wind power can be integrated into large, liberalised markets. One result has been the development of the Wilmar Joint Market Model (JMM) planning tool. This stochastic model analyses the energy markets in terms of the load coverage. This is done on the basis of hourly descriptions of the energy generation and transmission. However, the model also takes into account the technical constraints affecting power plants and transmission grids. This results in electricity prices for existing energy markets that are derived from the marginal costs for the generation.

As part of the first work packages, whose processing has already started, the interactions between the grid expansion, markets and grid operation shall be systematically analysed. This includes the depiction of zonally organised European markets with market coupling. At the same time, approaches for coupling the market and grid models as well as a data management concept are also being developed.

The research topics in the KoNeMaSim project:

  • Integrated depiction of the nodal market design
  • Improved depiction of security of supply criteria in the combined market and grid simulation
  • Depicting the impact of hybrid grids with HVDC point-to-point connections on the market pricing and grid loading
  • Depicting the impact of FACTs and cross-regulating transformers on congestion management and market developments in Europe
  • Improved consideration of the distribution of forecast errors in market and grid simulations
  • Taking the expansion of renewable energies into account as a function of funding regimes and available potential
  • Modelling the possibilities for utilising load-side flexibilities for congestion management and re-dispatching in Germany and other European countries
  • Best possible depiction of the management of hydro-dominated power plant systems
  • Depicting the increasing integration of day-ahead, intra-day and balancing markets

At the end of the project period, the project participants will then demonstrate exemplary applications.

These include identifying systemically important power plants and defining market areas in Europe. By the end of the project, it is therefore intended to develop and test new methods for the best possible grid planning, which will take into account both technical and economic criteria.

The research project is being supported by the Chair for Management Science and Energy Economics at the University of Duisburg-Essen, led by Professor Christoph Weber, in close collaboration with the transmission system operator TenneT TSO GmbH. TenneT is supporting the project through providing active participation and consultation in regards to the model development and implementation. The cooperation includes the conception of all the methods and, in particular, the processing of the case studies mentioned above. The developers will therefore ensure that the project addresses practical aspects and leads to the development of methods that are relevant to the pending issues.

Project duration

01/2015 – 12/2017


Prof. Dr Christoph Weber
Project coordinator
Universität Duisburg-Essen
Universitätsstr. 12
45141 Essen
+49 201 183 2966
+49 201 183 2703

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