In this article, we develop a novel electric power supply chain network model with fuel supply markets that captures both the economic network transactions in energy supply markets and the physical network transmission constraints in the electric power network. The theoretical derivation and analysis are done using the theory of variational inequalities. We then apply the model to a specific case, the New England electric power supply chain, consisting of six states, five fuel types, 82 power generators, with a total of 573 generating units, and 10 demand market regions. The empirical case study demonstrates that the regional electric power prices simulated by our model match the actual electricity prices in New England very well. We also compute the electric power prices and the spark spread, an important measure of the power plant profitability, under natural gas and oil price variations. The empirical examples illustrate that in New England, the market/grid-level fuel competition has become the major factor that affects the influence of the oil price on the natural gas price. Finally, we utilize the model to quantitatively investigate how changes in the demand for electricity influence the electric power and the fuel markets from a regional perspective.
The theoretical model can be applied to other regions and multiple electricity markets under deregulation to quantify the interactions in electric power/energy supply chains and their effects on flows and prices. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics, 2009