Resnick Institute


Lina Li

Na Li

Market Design in Electric Distribution Networks


In the future, every house may have its own solar panels, wind turbine, electric vehicles, and smart appliances, which are all connected and share electricity through the grid. To encourage end-users to participate in such transformation of the power grid, an efficient electricity market, especially in distribution networks, plays an important role. However, many challenges constitute significant barriers to form such a market, especially i) complexity associated with physical operation of the power systems, ii) self-interested and even strategic behavior of users, iii) inherent uncertainties involved in both emerging generation and consumption resources and devices.

In this talk, I will present how to tackle these challenges by integrating approaches from economics, power engineering, optimization and control. Firstly, I will present a decentralized market that defines trading rules which efficiently allocate externalities associated with physical operations to individual bilateral transactions in the networks. Then I will present a couple of auction designs that will handle the self-interested behavior of users and guarantee reliability of the system in the present of uncertainties.

About the Speaker

Na Li is an assistant professor in Electrical Engineering and Applied Mathematics of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in Harvard University since 2014. She received her Bachelor degree in Mathematics in Zhejiang University in 2007 and PhD degree in Control and Dynamical systems from California Institute of Technology in 2013. She was a postdoctoral associate of the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems at Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2013-2014. Her research lies in the design, analysis, optimization and control of distributed network systems, with particular applications to power networks. She received NSF career award (2016) and entered the Best Student Paper Award finalist in the 2011 IEEE Conference on Decision and Control.