Price and capacity competition in balancing markets with energy storage

Joshua A. Taylor, Johanna L. Mathieu, Duncan S. Callaway, Kameshwar Poolla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Energy storage can absorb variability from the rising number of wind and solar power producers. Storage is different from the conventional generators that have traditionally balanced supply and demand on fast time scales due to its hard energy capacity constraints, dynamic coupling, and low marginal costs. These differences are leading system operators to propose new mechanisms for enabling storage to participate in reserve and real-time energy markets. The persistence of market power and gaming in electricity markets suggests that these changes will expose new vulnerabilities. We develop a new model of strategic behavior among storages in energy balancing markets. Our model is a two-stage game that generalizes a classic model of capacity followed by Bertrand–Edgeworth price competition by explicitly modeling storage dynamics and uncertainty in the pricing stage. By applying the model to balancing markets with storage, we are able to compare capacity and energy-based pricing schemes and to analyze the dynamic effects of the market horizon and energy losses due to leakage. Our first key finding is that capacity pricing leads to higher prices and higher capacity commitments, and that energy pricing leads to lower, randomized prices and lower capacity commitments. Second, we find that a longer market horizon and higher physical efficiencies lead to lower prices by inducing the storage to compete to have their states of charge cycled more frequently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-197
Number of pages29
JournalEnergy Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • General Energy


  • Electric power systems
  • Energy storage
  • Game theory
  • Regulation
  • Renewable energy


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