Contingency-constrained unit commitment with post-contingency corrective recourse

Richard Li Yang Chen, Neng Fan, Ali Pinar, Jean Paul Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We consider the problem of minimizing costs in the generation unit commitment problem, a cornerstone in electric power system operations, while enforcing an N–k–ε reliability criterion. This reliability criterion is a generalization of the well-known N–k criterion and dictates that at least (1 - εj) fraction of the total system demand (for j= 1 , … , k) must be met following the failure of k or fewer system components. We refer to this problem as the contingency-constrained unit commitment problem, or CCUC. We present a mixed-integer programming formulation of the CCUC that accounts for both transmission and generation element failures. We propose novel cutting plane algorithms that avoid the need to explicitly consider an exponential number of contingencies. Computational studies are performed on several IEEE test systems and a simplified model of the Western US interconnection network. These studies demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed methods relative to current state-of-the-art.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-407
Number of pages27
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Benders decomposition
  • Bi-level programming
  • Contingency constraints
  • Integer programming
  • Unit commitment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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