Optimal load shedding in electricity grids with renewable sources via message passing

Elizabeth Harrison*, David Saad, K.Y. Michael Wong

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The increased penetration of volatile and intermittent renewable energy sources challenges existing power-distribution methods as current dispatch methods were not designed to consider high levels of volatility. We suggest a principled algorithm called message passing, which complements existing techniques. It is based on statistical physics methodology and passes probabilistic messages locally to find the approximate global optimal solution for a given objective function. The computational complexity of the algorithm increases linearly with the system size, allowing one to solve large-scale problems. We show how message passing considers fluctuations effectively and prioritise consumers in the event of insufficient resource. We demonstrate the efficacy of the algorithm in managing load-shedding and power-distribution on synthetic benchmark IEEE data and discuss the role of weights in the trade-off between minimising load-shedding and transmission costs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)101-108
    Number of pages8
    JournalEnergy Procedia
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017
    Event3rd International Conference on Energy and Environment Research - Barcelona, Spain
    Duration: 9 Sept 201611 Sept 2016

    Bibliographical note

    © 2017 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).


    • electricity distribution
    • load shedding
    • message passing
    • networks
    • optimisation
    • power flow
    • renewable energy
    • uncertainty


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