Multi-Fidelity Stochastic Economic Dispatch for Operating Low Carbon Power Grids

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Grid operators can address the inherently stochastic nature of renewables by solving a two-stage stochastic programming model that minimizes the cost of dispatch decisions while accounting for the complex grid dynamics. It is common to use a sample average approximation to estimate the expectation of the second stage costs in this model. However, the large sample count needed for numerical accuracy makes effective modeling large-scale electric grids computationally intractable. We introduce a control variate multi-fidelity estimator for the second-stage recourse that enables high quality dispatch decisions in real-time with a reduced computational burden. We obtain a hierarchy of model fidelities by linearizing the AC power flow system representation to DC power flow, and by relaxing transmission and voltage network constraints. We evaluate the performance of our proposed method on a synthetic grid with 73 buses against a deterministic baseline with persistence forecast and a high-fidelity reference. Our analysis shows a computational speed-up of 7.62x with a minimal loss in accuracy. The multi-fidelity method is well suited to fidelity combinations that use a simplified network topology in their lower fidelity model and is an attractive option for applications where accurate grid modeling needed on a limited computational budget.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages29
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-2C00-81156


  • electric grid dynamics
  • energy and the environment
  • monte carlo
  • multi-fidelity methods
  • stochastic optimization
  • uncertainty quantification
  • wind energy


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