Optimizing trading decisions for hydro storage systems using approximate dual dynamic programming

Nils Löhndorf, David Wozabal, Stefan Minner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


We propose a new approach to optimize operations of hydro storage systems with multiple connected reservoirs whose operators participate in wholesale electricity markets. Our formulation integrates short-term intraday with long-term interday decisions. The intraday problem considers bidding decisions as well as storage operation during the day and is formulated as a stochastic program. The interday problem is modeled as a Markov decision process of managing storage operation over time, for which we propose integrating stochastic dual dynamic programming with approximate dynamic programming. We show that the approximate solution converges toward an upper bound of the optimal solution. To demonstrate the efficiency of the solution approach, we fit an econometric model to actual price and inflow data and apply the approach to a case study of an existing hydro storage system. Our results indicate that the approach is tractable for a real-world application and that the gap between theoretical upper and a simulated lower bound decreases sufficiently fast.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)810-823
Number of pages14
JournalOperations Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013


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