Try out the E4ST Fast Predictor!
The Engineering, Economic, and Environmental Electricity Simulation Tool (E4ST) was developed by researchers at Cornell and Arizona State Universities, at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and at Resources for the Future, with support from the U. S. Department of Energy’s CERTS program as well as the Power Systems Engineering Research Center and the New York Independent System Operator.
E4ST is available openly, without charge. It consists of a set of software toolboxes that can be used to estimate present and future operating and investment states of an electric power system, including generator dispatches, generator entry and retirement, locational prices, fixed and fuel costs, air emissions, and environmental damages. The E4ST software toolboxes can be used with suitable data from any part of the world.
E4ST can be applied to detailed system models. Algorithms are included that simulate the economic operation of the power grid, in response to the model-user’s projections of economic factors (e.g. fuel prices), government incentives or environmental regulations. Simultaneously, the algorithms project and implement the economical investment and retirement of generation over time, by location. The algorithms are designed to maintain the redundancy necessary for service reliability.
E4ST is useful for both energy- and environmental-policy planning purposes. It accounts for short- and long-term feedbacks between energy and environmental policies. It can be used to project the operation and evolution of the power system under any combination of prices, demand patterns, and policies specified by the user. It can calculate the net benefits of any policy simulated, and disaggregate them into the benefits or costs for customers, generation owners, the system operator, the government, public health, and the environment.
In addition, E4ST can be used as a transmission planning tool to explore the consequences of network changes. The existing electric transmission system is fixed throughout these simulations, and only the generator dispatches and customer loads respond endogenously, but the user can change the transmission network and re-run the simulation to calculate the effects of the change, potentially repeating this thousands of times to test many different transmission system investment scenarios.
This website includes a complete three-bus model ready for use with E4ST. It also includes the developers’ detailed US generator data and the developers’ other publicly releasable input data, which can be used in conjunction with a transmission model provided by the user.
E4 Simulation Tool (E4ST)
The Getting Started Guide provides instructions for downloading the E4 Simulation Tool (E4ST), downloading the complete input data for a 3-bus system model, simulating the operation and evolution of that model using E4ST, and reporting the results of that simulation. The 3-bus model includes wind, solar, and dispatchable generators. E4ST works with models containing thousands of buses. However, the 3-bus model is sufficient for demonstrating the various capabilities of E4ST.
Generator Data & Toolbox
The generator data toolbox is a set of programs that can be used to combine US data from different sources, combine US and Canadian data, provide imputation for missing data, place generators on a transmission network model, and aggregate similar generators. Users working with data different from that used by the E4ST team may still find parts of this code to be useful.
On the same page, the E4ST team also provides its detailed, publicly releasable data on US generators and their other publicly releasable large-scale simulation input data. The generator data include capacities, fuel types, heat rates, emission rates, and many columns of additional data from Energy Information Administration (EIA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) datasets. These data can be used in conjunction with transmission system data provided by the user.
The E4ST team is working to arrange for their complete, ready-to-use input datasets of the eastern, western, and Texas systems to be available, albeit for a fee, from the commercial data firm that owns the transmission system and Canadian generator data that are parts of the datasets. The team will update this Web page once that process is completed.