This paper was presented at the First International Workshop on Agent Technologies for Energy Systems (ATES 2010) Toronto, Canada.
Abstract: Over the course of the 20th century, the electrical power systems of industrialized economies have become one of the most complex systems created by mankind. A number of ongoing trends will drastically change the way this criti- cal infrastructure is operated. Demand for electricity keeps growing while the controllability of generation capacity is decreasing due to introduction of renewable energy sources. Further, there is an increase of distributed generators (DG), i.e. the generation capacity embedded in the (medium and low voltage) distribution networks. Intelligent distributed coordination will be essential to ensure the electricity infrastructure runs efficiently in the future. The PowerMatcher technology, a multi-agent coordination system, has been developed to provide this kind of coordination. The heart of the system is an electronic market on which local control agents negotiate using strategies based on short-term micro- economics. A proof-of-principle simulation study involving renewable power generation, demand response and distributed generation indicates the impact of the multi-agent coordination. The study focuses on a micro-grid setting where balancing is done by a diesel generator. Application of the PowerMatcher is shown to reduce the peak power delivered by the diesel generator by approx. 45% while the total diesel generated power decreased by approx 40%.