Co-Simulation of Transactive Energy Markets: A Framework for Market Testing and Evaluation

Dylan Cutler, Ted Kwasnik, Sivasathya Balamurugan, Tarek Elgindy, Siddarth Swaminathan, Jeff Maguire, Dane Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus Citations


The proliferation of distributed energy resources (DER)—and the ability to intelligently control these assets—is re-defining the electrical distribution system. As the number of controllable devices rapidly expands, grid operators must determine how to incorporate these assets while delivering reliable, equitable, and affordable electricity. One possible approach is to establish distribution-level electricity markets and allow devices/aggregations of devices to participate in price establishment. While this approach purports some of the same benefits as the highly successful wholesale electricity markets (i.e., open competition, efficient price discovery, reduced communication overhead), this needs to be researched and quantified via an analysis platform that models distribution-level markets at the appropriate fidelity. Specifically, the simultaneous evaluation of market performance, DER performance, DER bidding approaches, and distribution feeder power quality requires modeling that spans multiple technical areas. Co-simulation has emerged as a powerful tool in addressing this type of problem, where outputs depend on a range of underlying areas of expertise and associated models. In this paper we describe a solution, as implemented in the HELICS co-simulation platform, where we include (1) high fidelity house models, (2) intelligent bidding agents, (3) a modular market integration/design, and (4) a distribution feeder model. We then present a case study where we test two different market designs: (1) a pseudo-wholesale double-blind auction, and (2) an asynchronous matching market. The markets are run under two DER penetration levels and economic results are compared to full retail net energy metering and avoided cost net metering scenarios that bookend current approaches to remuneration of DER participation. We show the potential for transactive markets to provide increased value for most customers relative to net metering (and all customers relative to avoided cost scenarios) while decreasing costs for the utility.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number106664
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Electrical Power and Energy Systems
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-7A40-77627


  • Blockchain
  • Co-simulation
  • Double blind auction
  • Energy markets
  • Matching market
  • Transactive energy


Dive into the research topics of 'Co-Simulation of Transactive Energy Markets: A Framework for Market Testing and Evaluation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this