Paper: Peak-Load Energy Management by Direct Load Control ContractsManagement Science

This paper studies direct load control contracts that utilities use to curtail customers’ electricity consumption during peak-load periods. These contracts place limits on the number of calls and total number of hours of power reduction per customer per year as well as the duration of each call. The stochastic dynamic program that determines how many customers to call and the timing and duration of each call for each day is an extremely difficult (NP-hard) optimization problem. We design a scenario-based approximation method to generate probabilistic allocation polices in a reasonable amount of time. Our approach consists of three approximations: deterministic approximation of demand, discretization of the expected demand, and aggregation/disaggregation of the resources. 

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