Electricity market forecast using machine learning approaches

Xu, Jian (Ph. D in electrical and computer engineering),
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Electricity generation and load should always be balanced to maintain a tightly regulated system frequency in the power grid. Electricity generation and load both depend on many factors, such as the weather, temperature, and wind. These characteristics make the dynamics of electricity price very different from that of any other commodities or financial assets. The electricity price can exhibit hourly, daily, and seasonal fluctuations, as well as abrupt unanticipated spikes. Almost all electricity market participants use wind/load/price forecasting tools in their daily operations to optimize their operation plans, and bidding and hedging strategies, in order to maximize the profits and avoid price risks. However, the unreliable and inaccurate predictions with current forecasting tools have caused many serious problems, which can cause system instabilities and result in extreme prices even in the absence of scarcity. This dissertation presents an implementation of state of the art machine learning approaches into the forecasting tools to improve the reliability and accuracy of electricity price prediction.

Most existing wholesale electricity markets consist of a Day-Ahead Market and a Real-Time Market that work together to ensure the adequacy of electricity generation capacity for the Real-Time operation to secure the reliability of the grid. The two markets have different purposes, with the Day-Ahead Market serving as preparation for and hedging against variation in the Real-Time Market. Also, the Day-Ahead Market uses hourly Day-Ahead forecasting information and the Real-Time Market uses most up-to-date Real-Time information when running calculations. So the forecasting strategies of Day-Ahead and Real-Time Markets should be different as well. The dissertation has two parts. The first part focuses on Day-Ahead price forecasting and the second part focuses on Real-Time price forecasting.