Strategic Policymaking for Implementing Renewable Portfolio Standards: A Tri-Level Optimization Approach

Jip Kim, Sylwia Bialek, Burcin Unel, Yury Dvorkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Appropriately designed renewable support policies can play a leading role in promoting renewable expansions and contribute to low emission goals. Meanwhile, ill-designed policies may distort electricity markets, put power utilities and generation companies on an unlevel playing field and, in turn, cause inefficiencies. This paper proposes a framework to optimize policymaking for renewable energy sources, while incorporating conflicting interests and objectives of different stakeholders. We formulate a tri-level optimization problem where each level represents a different entity: a state regulator, a power utility and a wholesale electricity market. To solve this tri-level problem, we exploit optimality conditions and develop a modification of the Column-and-Cut Generation (C&CG) algorithm that generates cuts for bilinear terms. The case study based on the ISO New England 8-zone test system reveals different policy trade-offs that policymakers face under different decarbonization goals and implementation scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4915-4927
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021


  • Renewable support policy
  • column-and-cut generation
  • decomposition technique
  • renewable portfolio standard
  • state regulator
  • tri-level optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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