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An options pricing approach to ramping rate restrictions at hydro power plants

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  • Niu, Shilei
  • Insley, Margaret

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of ramping rate restrictions imposed on hydro operations to protect aquatic ecosystems. The optimal ramping decision is specified as an optimal control problem which results in a Hamilton Jacobi Bellman (HJB) equation. Electricity prices are modelled as a regime switching stochastic process. The optimal control is determined by solving the HJB equation numerically using a fully implicit finite difference approach with semi-Lagrangian time stepping. The paper focuses on the effect of ramping restrictions on a hydro plant׳s value and optimal operations, and provides an analysis of which factors cause ramping restrictions to have a greater or lesser impact on profitability. It is shown that hydro plant value is negatively affected by ramping restrictions, but the extent of the impact depends on key parameters which determine the desirability of frequent changes in water release rates. Interestingly for the case considered, value is not sensitive to ramping restrictions over a large range of restrictions. The results point to the importance of accurately modelling electricity prices in gauging the trade offs involved in imposing restrictions on hydro operators which may hinder their ability to respond to volatile electricity prices and meet peak demands.

Suggested Citation

  • Niu, Shilei & Insley, Margaret, 2016. "An options pricing approach to ramping rate restrictions at hydro power plants," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 25-52.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:63:y:2016:i:c:p:25-52
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jedc.2015.11.003
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    Cited by:

    1. Hidekazu Yoshioka & Yuta Yaegashi, 2020. "A growth rate control problem of harmful species population and its application to algae bloom," Environment Systems and Decisions, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 107-124, March.
    2. Margaret Insley, 2013. "On the timing of non-renewable resource extraction with regime switching prices: an optimal stochastic control approach," Working Papers 1302, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2013.
    3. Kern, Jordan D. & Characklis, Gregory W., 2017. "Low natural gas prices and the financial cost of ramp rate restrictions at hydroelectric dams," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 340-350.
    4. Insley, Margaret, 2017. "Resource extraction with a carbon tax and regime switching prices: Exercising your options," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 1-16.
    5. Kristina Rognlien Dahl, 2019. "Management of a hydropower system via convex duality," Mathematical Methods of Operations Research, Springer;Gesellschaft für Operations Research (GOR);Nederlands Genootschap voor Besliskunde (NGB), vol. 89(1), pages 43-71, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ramping rate; Regime switching; Hydro power plant; Electricity; Stochastic control; Hamilton Jacobi Bellman-Partial Differential Equation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • Q49 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Other
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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