Seminar: Impact of global and local emission mitigation policies on the Chilean power system expansion planning

The Department of Engineering Science is hosting a seminar by Prof. Enzo Sauma, see the details below.

Date / Time: 2pm, Thursday 30 January 2020.

Location: Room 201, Level 2, 70 Symonds Street.

Title: Impact of global and local emission mitigation policies on the Chilean power system expansion planning

Emission taxes can be an efficient way of reducing fossil-fuel energy use, improving energy efficiency, and promoting the development of renewable energy. However, it may also decrease economic growth and social welfare, damage the competitiveness of related industries and lead to emission leakage. Thus, looking closely at the expansion-planning-level consequences of pollutant-emission taxes is an essential task in determining the optimal allocation of resources. In this work, we achieve this by modelling the power system expansion as an optimization problem.

The work presented in this presentation analyzes the impact of implementing CO2 and local-pollutant emission taxes on the Chilean power system expansion planning. To do this, we have formulated and implemented an optimization model based on a mixed-integer linear program, which considers the current expansion plan of the Chilean electric system, as well as renewable-based distributed generation.

Enzo Sauma is a Professor of the School of Engineering and the Director of the UC Energy Research Center at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. He is both Ph.D. (Dec. 2005) and M.S. (Dec. 2002) in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at University of California, Berkeley. He also holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Industrial Engineering from Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. His interest includes power systems economics, environmental economics, mathematical programming, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy policy. He has received several international awards (INFORMS, ICORAID, NEXUS-Fulbright, etc.). He is member of INFORMS, IAEE, AAAS and Senior Member of IEEE.

Energy and Emissions Session at ORSNZ 2019

There will be an energy and emissions session at the upcoming ORSNZ Conference 2019 on Wednesday morning (December 4) from 8:30am – 11:40am.

The session will begin with a Keynote address by James Tipping from the Electricity Authority, followed by three talks, and end with a Panel Discussion chaired by Grant Read.

This session is sponsored by the Energy and Natural Resources Interest Group, and we have a limited number of places we can allocate free-of-charge for people interested in attending.

If you would like to attend, please register here (select the Energy Session option).

ENR / EPOC Autumn Risk Workshop (May 1 2019)

As previously announced here, on Wednesday, May 1 2019, the ENR SIG of the ORSNZ in conjunction with the Electric Power Optimization Centre is running a day-long workshop at the University of Auckland on risk averse and stochastic modelling frameworks applied to energy or resource planning/operations. These include:

  • Introduction to modelling risk and uncertainty in operations planning – Tony Downward, University of Auckland
  • Multi-stage stochastic programming using SDDP.jl – Oscar Dowson, Northwestern University
  • Milk production planning with uncertain weather and farm-gate milk prices – Oscar Dowson, Northwestern University
  • Time-consistent risk modelling paradigms in multistage stochastic programmes Regan Baucke, École des Ponts Paristech
  • Investment in the NZ electricity system: a generator-retailer perspective – Grant Telfar, Meridian Energy
  • Reaching the aspiration of 100% renewables in the New Zealand electricity sector – Tony Downward, University of Auckland
  • Panel Discussion on NZ medium and long term risks in the New Zealand electricity sector – Chaired by Grant Read, members of EPOC

The planned start time is 9:30am, and the workshop will end by 4pm.

If you are interested in attending, please email Tony Downward ([email protected]) by Wednesday 24 April. There is no fee to attend, and lunch will be provided. (Due to room size, spaces are limited; places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.)

ENR / EPOC Autumn Risk Workshop

On Wednesday, May 1 2019, the ENR SIG of the ORSNZ in conjunction with the Electric Power Optimization Centre is running a day-long workshop at the University of Auckland on risk averse and stochastic modelling frameworks applied to energy or resource planning/operations.

We invite presentations on topics including (but not limited to):

  • hydro-thermal scheduling;
  • investment planning; and
  • modelling risk in multi-period settings.

Call for abstracts

If you would like to present at this workshop, please submit an abstract (300 words or less) to Tony Downward by 5pm April 12.


Registration to the workshop is free; please RSVP to Tony Downward by April 22. Numbers may be limited due to room capacity, so please register as soon as possible to guarantee a spot.

Further details of the programme and location will be provided closer to the date.

Slides from the Energy Centre’s Summer School in Energy Economics

The Energy Centre, based in the Business School at the University of Auckland, held its annual Summer School in Energy Economics last week. The event was held over four days, with about 50 attendees, and 20 speakers.

Topics included:

  • Transportation (Electric Vehicle and Hydrogen fuel)
  • Electricity markets
  • Renewable technologies (solar / geothermal / wind)
  • Climate change
  • Net-zero carbon
  • The future of distribution networks

You can view slides from most of the presentations here.

Session on Energy at Upcoming NZSA/ORSNZ Conference

At the upcoming NZSA/ORSNZ conference in Palmerston North there will be a short session on electricity and renewables. This session is on Thursday 29 November, and includes talks by Adjunct Prof. Grant Read and Prof. Andy Philpott. You must register to attend conference here (the one-day rate is $150, including lunch and morning/afternoon tea).

In the afternoon of the same day is an agriculture-themed Analytics Forum event. Additional details of this event can be found here.

EPOC Winter Workshop 2018

On Friday 7 September (from 9am-4:30pm) the Electric Power Optimization Centre is hosting its 17th Annual EPOC Winter Workshop at the University of Auckland.

The workshop will have a number of talks about:

  • hydro-thermal scheduling,
  • the New Zealand electricity market performance,
  • security of supply, and
  • the transition to 100% renewables.

The full programme is available here.

If you wish to attend, please contact Prof. Andy Philpott at [email protected] by 5pm Friday 31 August to request an invitation (places are limited).

ENR Session at 2018 NZSA / ORSNZ Conference

Abstract submissions and registrations for the upcoming 2018 conference (27-29 November) in Palmerston North opened on August 1.

Since it’s often difficult to justify spending 2-3 days at a general Operations Research conference, we would like to organise at least one session at the conference dedicated to Energy and Natural Resources (the ENR interest group launched at the start of this year). Note that to facilitate this, the conference has a day-rate of $150.

The purpose of the ORSNZ interest groups are to try to strengthen linkages between academia and industry, so we’d ideally have a range of talks about modelling, data analysis, policy etc.

To help us plan how many sessions would be needed, would you please complete this short survey, indicating how likely it is that you’ll attend the conference, and whether you’d be willing to contribute a presentation.

(If you wish to give a presentation, then you will need to submit an abstract as outlined here, but please also email ENR with the title of your talk, so we can assign it to the right session.)

EPOC Presentations at ISMP

A number of staff and students from the University of Auckland presented at the ISMP conference (International Symposium on Mathematical Programming) in Bordeaux, France during the first week of July 2018. In particular, Prof. Andy Philpott gave a plenary address entitled: Randomness, Risk, and Electricity Prices.

EPOC (the Electric Power Optimization Centre) is hosting the presentations, and associated papers on their website. The topics covered include:

  • risk-trading in a multistage electricity market;
  • multistage stochastic programming with stagewise-dependent price processes (applied to a price-making hydro-storage example);
  • multistage minimax stochastic programming (with an application of end-of-horizon risk measures); and
  • optimal demand bids and ILR offers for an industrial consumer of electricity over a time-horizon.

Seminar: Maintaining, restarting, mothballing and scrapping peaking power plants

Title: Maintaining, restarting, mothballing and scrapping peaking power plants: Cost estimation
Speaker: Professor Stein-Erik Fleten, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Joint work with Erik Haugom (Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences), Alois Pichler (Chemnitz University of Technology), Carl J Ullrich (James Madison University)
Date & Time: 11am-noon, Wednesday 18 April, 2018
Location: WH417, Auckland University of Technology (map)


This paper estimates costs associated with mothballing, restarting, abandoning and maintaining peaking power plants. We develop a discrete-time dynamic programming model to explain switching and maintenance behaviour of plant managers. The constrained optimization approach to estimate crucial costs accommodates nonparametric dynamics for the expectations of the plant managers regarding future profitability. The empirical analysis is based on a database of the annually reported status of power plants to the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) during 2001-2009. Our cost estimates imply so-called avoided cost rates which are less than the default rates used in the PJM Reliability Pricing Model capacity market, indicating that consumers may be overpaying for system reliability.

This seminar is being hosted by the School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences at Auckland University Of Technology.