Center for Energy, Environmental, and Economic Systems Analysis (CEEESA) Argonne Logo

Research Areas:

   Energy, Environment, and

   National and Homeland

   Infrastructure Assurance

   Emergency Preparedness

   Social Dynamics

   Policy Analysis

Core Capabilities:

   Systems Analysis

   Modeling, Simulation, and

   Complex Adaptive Systems

   Decision Support and Risk

   Information Sciences

Power Systems Analysis Program

The Center for Energy, Environmental, and Economic Systems Analysis (CEEESA) conducts power systems studies of a wide range of key strategic issues for a diverse set of clients. Our clients include international lending institutions, domestic and international utility companies, merchant companies, and regulatory and government bodies. Our main activities focus on the following areas:

Click here to see brief project summaries in the power systems analysis program.

Restructuring, Privatization, and Deregulation

As more countries move toward restructured, deregulated, and privatized energy markets, CEEESA is analyzing the many issues related to the new operating and market environments in the affected countries and regions. CEEESA works with the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE), U.S. State Department (USDOS), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), World Bank, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), U.S. Trade and Development Administration (USTDA), the State of Illinois, U.S. and foreign consulting companies, foreign governments, and international power companies. Specifically, CEEESA staff

  • Conducts power market studies for individual power generation and transmission projects in open markets,
  • Assesses the investment potential for U.S. companies in foreign energy markets,
  • Assists foreign utility companies in developing business strategies for a restructured market,
  • Helps market participants in identifying technologies (renewable, fossil, distributed resources) and/or entities that can successfully compete on the market, and
  • Assists foreign governments in analyzing market rules and their impacts on market participants and overall system reliability.

CEEESA is also making available new analytical tools for deregulated power markets, such as the Generation and Transmission Maximization (GTMax) model and the next generation analysis tool for deregulated electricity markets, the EMCAS model.

Regional Interconnections and Power Pools

CEEESA is using the Generation and Transmission Maximization (GTMax) model and the Electricity Market Complex Adaptive System (EMCAS) to evaluate the economic benefits of regional integration of power generating and transmission systems via joint dispatch. CEEESA transfers the software to regional experts and provides training and implementation support to clients around the world.

Power System Expansion

CEEESA has more than 25 years of experience in power system expansion analysis, primarily based on the widely popular WASP model. Sponsored by the U.S. government, the World Bank, and the IAEA in Vienna, CEEESA has trained about 400 experts from more than 65 countries in power system expansion analysis since 1978.

Emissions Projections and Pollution Control

CEEESA works with governments and electric utilities around the world in developing emissions projections for greenhouse gases (GHGs) and standard criteria pollutants and analyzing the economic and environmental impacts of pollution control strategies.

Hydro Power and Reservoir Management

CEEESA regularly conducts economic analyses of hydro power plants in the western U.S. as part of ongoing environmental impact statements (EISs), most recently for the Flaming Gorge Dam located on the Green River in northeastern Utah, about 32 miles downstream from the Utah/Wyoming border. Sponsored by the Bureau of Reclamation, this project involves estimating the economic costs of altering the operations of the dam and the associated effects on power plant generating capabilities and electricity production. The EIS involves the use of an integrated set of sophisticated hydrology and power system models developed at Argonne and the Bureau of Reclamation. CEEESA has developed new modeling methods and techniques for optimizing the operation of the Flaming Gorge Dam given downstream gauge constraints. CEEESA experts also developed a methodology that is applied to a basin-wide economic analysis of the Colorado River System Project. In addition, CEEESA develops both new linear and nonlinear formulations to optimize the operations of the tightly coupled Aspinall hydro cascade.

Energy Efficiency and Renewables

CEEESA provides support to DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE/RE) Program on Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in the following programmatic areas:

  • APEC New and Renewable Energy Technologies (EGNRET) Expert Group,
  • Energy for Sustainable Communities (ESC) Program,
  • APEC Sustainable Development Network, and
  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency private sector development activities for DOE EE/RE in Thailand.

CEEESA works with DOE EE/RE in developing and coordinating its Asia Strategy. CEEESA coordinates with all the national labs involved in both bilateral and multi-lateral energy efficiency and renewable energy activities in Asia.

Further, CEEESA works with DOE EE/RE on its role as the lead agency for the development of a multi-agency U.S. proposal to work with China in greening the 2008 summer Olympics. This activity will also be part of DOE EE/RE's implementation of its portion of the Clean Energy Technology Export Initiative.

In support of the APEC Energy for Sustainable Communities Program, CEEESA continues to work with four cities on developing projects based on the city energy profiles that CEEESA staff helped produce recently. CEEESA works with the Thai cities of Rayong and Nonthaburi and the Chinese cities of Chizhou (Anhui Province) and Zhangjiagang (Jiangsu Province) on this effort.

CEEESA supports the APEC Energy Working Group's 21st Century Renewable Energy Development Initiative as follows: (1) presentation of a workshop on advances in electricity storage in support of distributed renewable energy and (2) development of a financial roadmap for the APEC region.

Three U.S.-led projects funded by the APEC Secretariat in 2001 involved (1) including new and renewable energy technologies into economy-level energy models; (2) conducting the APEC renewable energy infrastructure assessment; and (3) presenting a workshop on distributed generation, distribution, and efficiency.

The GTMax Model

The Generation and Transmission Maximization (GTMax) model helps researchers study complex marketing and system operational issues. With the aid of this comprehensive model, utility operators and managers can maximize the value of the electric power system, taking into account not only its limited energy and transmission resources, but also firm contracts, independent power producer (IPP) agreements, and bulk power transaction opportunities on the spot market. GTMax maximizes net revenues of power systems by finding a solution that increases income while keeping expenses at a minimum. At the same time, the model ensures that market transactions and system operations remain within the physical and institutional limitations of the power system. When multiple systems are simulated, GTMax identifies utilities that can successfully compete in the market by tracking hourly energy transactions, costs, and revenues. For more information on GTMax, click here.

The New EMCAS Model

Many of the modeling tools for power systems analysis developed over the last two decades are based on the implicit assumption of a centralized decision-making process. Although these tools are very detailed and complex and will continue to provide useful insights into power systems operation, they are limited in their ability to adequately analyze the market forces in today's markets. Driven by these observations, CEEESA has developed a new deregulated market analysis tool, the Electricity Market Complex Adaptive System (EMCAS) model. Unlike conventional electric systems models, EMCAS uses agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS) techniques. ABMS techniques do not postulate a single decision maker with a single objective for the entire system. Rather, agents are allowed to establish their own objectives and apply their own decision rules. The complex adaptive systems (CAS) modeling approach simulates agents that learn from their previous experiences and change their behavior when future opportunities arise. That is, as the simulation progresses, agents can adapt their strategies on the basis of the success or failure of previous efforts. Genetic algorithms are used to provide a learning capability for certain agents. With its agent-based approach, EMCAS is specifically designed to analyze multiagent markets and allow testing of regulatory structures before they are applied to real systems; that is, EMCAS can be used as an electronic laboratory or "e-laboratory." For more information on EMCAS, click here.

Wind Power Forecasting and Electricity Markets

To improve wind power forecasting and its use in power system and electricity market operations Argonne National Laboratory has assembled a team of experts in wind power forecasting, electricity market modeling, wind farm development, and power system operations.

Wind power forecasting is an important tool for managing the inherent variability and uncertainty in wind power generation. Increasing the accuracy of forecasting can help to reduce the likelihood of an unexpected gap between scheduled and actual wind power generation, which can be extremely helpful for operators of power systems and wind power plants. Improvements in wind power forecasting and better use of the forecasts in operational decisions can, therefore, help facilitate a large-scale penetration of wind power into the electric power system. Substantial research efforts continue to focus on improving the accuracy and the robustness of wind power predictions, to increase their time horizon, and to consistently evaluate their performance. In addition, there is an urgent need for finding better ways to incorporate the output of advanced wind forecasting models into the operation of power systems and wind power plants.

Learn more about Wind Power Forecasting.


Project Brief Description
Plug-in Hybrids: Can the Electric Transmission Grid Handle Them? In an analysis for the U.S. Department of Energy, we used our Electricity Market Complex Adaptive System (EMCAS) model to analyze the impact of plug-in electric hybrid vehicles on the transmission grid and electricity prices in Illinois.
Climate Change — How Vulnerable is our Power Sector? An Analysis of the Western United States We used results from regional climate models to study the impacts of projected changes in temperature and precipitation on the development and operations of the power system in the Western United States. We presented this analysis last December at the 2007 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. We have also been invited to summarize this study in an upcoming journal article and present it at the IAEE Conference in Ankara, Turkey in June 2008.
The March 2008 Glen Canyon "Flush": What are the Economic Costs? In support of the March 2008 experiment with high-flow water releases from Glen Canyon Dam, we helped the Western Area Power Administration by using our Generation-Transmission Maximization (GTMax) model to determine the economic cost of the “flush.
Argonne and IIT establish a joint graduate-level training program
In an agreement signed on March 26, 2007, Argonne National Laboratory and the Illinois Institute of Technology are joining with the Korea Power Exchange (KPX) to establish a joint training program combining training and research at Argonne with formal academic education at IIT. Under this program, KPX will send members of its technical staff to Chicago every two years to enroll in the IIT Department for Electrical and Computer Engineering. KPX staff will participate in a graduate study program while conducting applied research at Argonne.
Analysis of the Korean power system in a changing environment
CEEESA collaborated with the Korean Electric Power Research Institute (KEPRI). Phase 1 focused on analyzing the Korean electric power generating system, taking into consideration the ongoing deregulation of the electric power market as well as environmental and economic constraints. Phase 2 focused on the role of nuclear power.
CEEESA and the Korea Power Exchange (KPX) establish MOU on electricity market analysis
In December 2005, CEEESA and KPX signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation in the area of electricity system analysis, including power market design issues, short-term market simulations, long-term market and resource adequacy simulations, market power issues, and other electricity system-related issues. 
How competitive will the U.S. Midwest power market be?
CEEESA used EMCAS to simulate the Midwest power markets for the State of Illinois. The analysis focused on whether the existing transmission system can support a competitive market to keep prices in check and allow for new market participants to compete for market share. CEEESA used EMCAS to investigate whether conditions can occur that will enable a company to exercise market power in some regions, thereby creating undue price pressures.
Economic benefits of a southeast European
electricity market
For USAID, CEEESA experts analyzed a future regional electricity market in southeastern Europe. The market would initially include seven Balkan countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, and Yugoslavia with the potential for additional countries to join later.
Power market analysis
for two transmission lines
in the Balkans

The power market analysis determined the potential for power transactions between the electric power systems of Albania, Macedonia, and Bulgaria, as well as the potential for possible electricity exports to Greece. CEEESA staff members used four models to analyze the transmission lines under a variety of scenarios, to estimate market clearing prices in each system, and to determine the economic benefits of the interconnections.
Building capacity for power systems analysis in Mexico
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, DOE, and the IAEA, CEEESA staff assisted Mexico’s government in the environmental analysis of that country's electric power system. CEEESA trained a local team of experts in the use of WASP and DECADES. The team included experts from CFE, IIE, SENER, and UNAM. The team successfully analyzed the economic and environmental impacts for fourteen power sector development scenarios, including limitations of gas supply, various fuel price forecasts, different levels of reliability and reserve margins, and forced nuclear.
Agent-based simulation of electricity markets
As electricity markets continue to develop, new modeling approaches are needed to simulate how electric power markets may evolve over time and how participants in these markets may act and react to the changing economic, financial, and regulatory environment in which they operate. To gain insights into the decentralized electric marketplace, CEEESA developed the Electricity Market Complex Adaptive System (EMCAS) model. EMCAS is an electronic laboratory that probes the possible effects of market rules and conditions by simulating the strategic behavior of participants. It uses agent-based modeling techniques representing market participants who operate with their own objectives and apply their own decision-making rules.
Is small cogeneration
competitive in Poland?
The Polish energy markets have recently been restructured, opening the door to new players with access to a variety of new products and instruments. In response to this new environment, the Government of Poland and the Polish Power Grid Company wanted to analyze the competitiveness of small-scale cogeneration units as well as potential east-west power transfers from Russia to Germany. CEEESA transferred GTMax to the Polish Energy Market Agency (EMA), trained a group of experts from the agency to use the model, and provided ongoing technical support to the team. EMA staff used GTMax to track hourly energy transactions, the price of energy delivered to regional market hubs, and production costs under a number of scenarios.
Evaluating IPP bids for the Hungarian Power Company (MVMRt.)
At the end of 1997, the Hungarian Power Companies Ltd. (MVMRt.) issued two tenders for independent power producer (IPP) bids to increase power generating capacity in Hungary. MVMRt. received 33 technical and financial bids to supply this new power and needed a consistent, efficient method to evaluate the bids. CEEESA teamed with a Hungarian subcontractor to develop the bid evaluation methodology and act as technical auditor to MVMRt. during the evaluation phase. The CEEESA methodology provided a comprehensive and consistent bid evaluation framework. The use of the well-established WASP-III Plus model ensured the acceptance of the results by all bidders.
Finding the most cost-effective sulfur control strategy for Turkey's Yatagan lignite-fired power plant
For the World Bank, CEEESA used the WASP and IMPACTS models to analyze the Turkish power sector in detail and to determine the most cost-effective sulfur abatement strategy for the lignite-fired power plant at Yatagan.
Capacity building in energy and environmental systems analysis in Turkey
CEEESA has had a long-standing relationship with the Turkish Electricity Authority (TEAS) and the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MENR). Following the sulfur control study at Yatagan, CEEESA experts held a three-week training workshop on energy and environmental systems analysis in Ankara. In 1997, the World Bank contracted Argonne to conduct a comprehensive capacity-building effort covering a wide variety of issues, including (1) site-specific environmental assessment issues, such as wastewater discharges, facility siting, transmission rights-of-way, emissions monitoring, etc.; (2) electricity system issues, including optimal hydropower plant design, independent power producers, power marketing opportunities, system reliability, and long-run marginal costs; (3) analysis of a domestic emissions trading system for SO2 in the electric power sector; and (4) total energy system analysis with projections of primary and secondary resource consumption by sector and fuel type plus associated atmospheric emissions.
Costs of meeting EU environmental standards
on Turkey's fossil-fired power plants
As part of a World Bank-sponsored Energy and Environmental Review, CEEESA collaborated with several companies in Japan, Europe, and the U.S. to analyze a variety of pollution control and policy options that Turkish authorities might consider. One scenario specifically analyzed the costs and environmental impacts of meeting new EU standards for PM, SO2, and NOX.
Investment in electricity transmission and ancillary environmental benefits
Planning of the electricity transmission system generally focuses on the pros and cons of providing generation close to the source of the power demand compared with remote generation linked via the transmission system. Recent electricity supply problems in the western United States have renewed interest in the role of transmission in assuring the reliability of electricity supply. Recently, the Western Governors’ Association led the development of a planning exercise that examined the trade-offs over the next 10 years between locating new natural gas-powered generation close to the load centers versus new coal, wind, hydro, and geothermal generation in remote areas. Although the analysis concentrated on the direct system costs, the choice of new generation will have both local and global environmental impacts. This paper examines some of the “ancillary” environmental effects of electricity transmission decisions using a suite of models that combine to provide an integrated assessment.
Capacity building in deregulated market analysis in Argentina
Sponsored by DOE, CEEESA supported a team of experts from the Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) and the Independent System Operator (CAMMESSA) in implementing the GTMax model. The team used GTMax to analyze a variety of issues related to deregulated power systems. Argentina's Ministry of Energy has expressed interest in using GTMax for a wide range of applications.
Capacity building in
power systems analysis
in Armenia
For the U.S. government and the IAEA in Vienna, CEEESA experts trained and supported a local team of Armenian experts on electric systems analysis using the WASP model. CEEESA reviewed the work conducted by the team, identified areas for improvements, and assisted the team in presenting the work to a project steering committee.
Capacity building in power systems analysis in Egypt
Sponsored by the U.S. government and the IAEA in Vienna, CEEESA trained and supported a team of experts from the Egyptian Nuclear Power Plant Authority (NPPA) in electric system expansion analysis using the DECADES tools. NPPA used DECADES to conduct a comparative assessment of environmental issues of different future energy generation technologies.
Expanding Jamaica's power generation system
Jamaica Public Service Company (JPSCo) used WASP to develop a least-cost expansion plan for their system. CEEESA staff reviewed this plan in a project sponsored by the National Investment Bank of Jamaica.
Electricity pricing study for the North Sulawesi island in Indonesia
CEEESA experts carried out an electricity pricing study to estimate the long-run marginal costs (LRMC) of electricity generation in the Indonesian island of North Sulawesi. The LRMC study was performed using the WASP-IV model for the isolated power system Minahasa-Kotamobagu-Gorontalo and covered the period up to 2020.
Evaluation of wind power in Mexico

Sponsored by the World Bank - Global Environment Facility, CEEESA experts assisted the Mexican Ministry of Energy (SENER) and the Mexican electric power utility (CFE) in conducting an economic evaluation of the long-term benefits of wind farms in the Mexican power system. The analysis utilized the WASP-IV model to estimate the long-term energy, capacity, and emission credits of a 100-MW wind farm project.

Macedonia least-cost expansion program

This study analyzed different long-term expansion options for the country's electric power system and determined the least-cost expansion program for the period until 2020. The WASP and PC-VALORAGUA models were used to evaluate various expansion options. The project was sponsored by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and was conducted in collaboration with the Harza Engineering Company for the Electric Power Utility of Macedonia.

Preparation of the medium-term power sector development strategy for Zambia
This World Bank-sponsored project focused on the analysis of the hydroelectric potential of the Zambezi River Basin and its utilization as the most significant source of electric power in the Southern African region. The study was performed using the PC-VALORAGUA and WASP models. CEEESA experts also carried out the least-cost expansion planning study for Zambia, which included the proposed new hydroelectric projects on the Zambezi and Kafue Rivers.
Analysis of the least-cost expansion planning of the electric power system in Pakistan
Carried out as part of the World Bank-sponsored project to evaluate the Ghazi-Barotha candidate hydropower plant, this study analyzed the electric power system in Pakistan and conducted the long-term system expansion planning analysis using the WASP-III model. CEEESA experts also utilized the PC-VALORAGUA model to analyze the hydroelectric and irrigation systems in Pakistan and conducted a two-week training seminar for the Water and Power Development Authority staff in the use of the PC-VALORAGUA model.
Systems planning and risk analysis for the Nepal Electricity Authority
This study was sponsored by the World Bank and included an analysis of the long-term expansion options for the generating system of Nepal until 2020. CEEESA experts performed this analysis using the WASP-III and PC-VALORAGUA models and also provided training in their use to Nepalese utility experts. A risk analysis of different expansion scenarios was also performed using the STATS model.
LRMC study for the Guyana Electricity Corporation
Sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank, CEEESA experts conducted a study of the long-run marginal costs (LRMCs) of electricity generation in the electric power system of Guyana. The WASP and ICARUS computer models were used for this analysis.

For more information, contact CEEESA.

Related Information

Associated Projects

Eastern Interconnection States Planning Council (EISPC)

Wind Power Forecasting and Electricity Markets

Modeling and Analysis of Value of Advanced Pumped Storage Hydropower in the U.S.

Electricity Market Complex Adaptive System

Multi-Agent Simulation of Hydrogen Transition Issues

Energy and Power Evaluation Program (ENPEP)

Generation and Transmission Maximization (GTMAX)

Power Systems

Energy Systems

Environmental Systems

Available Software








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