PLEXOS® Integrated Energy Model:
Simulation software for energy market analysis
PLEXOS® Integrated Energy Model (PLEXOS) is tried-and-true simulation software that uses state-of-the-art mathematical optimisation combined with the latest data handling and visualisation and distributed computing methods, to provide a high-performance, robust simulation system for electric power, water and gas that is leading edge yet open and transparent. PLEXOS meets the demands of energy market participants, system planners, investors, regulators, consultants and analysts alike with a comprehensive range of features seamlessly integrating electric, water, gas and heat production, transportation and demand over simulated timeframes from minutes to 10’s of years, all delivered through a common simulation engine with easy-to-use interface and integrated data platform. PLEXOS is the fastest and most sophisticated software available today, and also the most cost-effective.
At its launch in June 2000 PLEXOS was first-to-market with electric power market simulation based entirely on mathematical programming. Today PLEXOS is the most widely used integrated energy model with a customer base spanning the globe and including the world’s largest and most sophisticated utilities, regulators and system operators. PLEXOS simulation results are renowned for accuracy and robustness and have appeared in numerous publications and are subject to regular and rigorous audits.
The following are examples of class-leading features of the PLEXOS system:
- Co-optimisation of unit commitment and economic dispatch with ancillary services, optimal power flow and locational marginal pricing
- Power-water-gas integrated simulation allowing the optimisation of investment and production decisions across all commodities simultaneously
- Monte Carlo and full stochastic optimisation
- Comprehensive modelling of renewable generation and smart grid technologies with emissions pricing and limits
- Seamlessly integrated simulation phases from long through medium to short-term, optimising investment decisions and decomposing production constraints and hydro schedules
- Scalability from single plant or portfolio optimisation to simulation of large-scale systems with thousands of generating units and transmission nodes
- Simulation resolution from sub-hourly intervals as short as 1-minute through to hourly or dynamically variable resolution
A flexible object-oriented design tightly integrated with state of the art optimisation tools allows PLEXOS to provide unsurpassed functionality across a wide range of planning problems including:
- Capacity expansion planning
- Production cost modelling
- Electric and gas market price forecasting
- Water and gas infrastructure planning
- Market analysis and market design
- Transmission constraint analysis
- Portfolio optimisation and valuation
- Operational planning with stochastic optimisation
- Renewable generation integration analysis
- Smart grid planning
- Hydro generation resource management
- Risk management
PLEXOS is an open system with results that are entirely auditable and comprehensive documentation is available, making it the perfect choice for market designers, regulators, consultants and researchers alike.
Features of the simulator
Detailed renewable and fossil generation technical-economical characteristics. Deterministic and stochastic unit commitment on/off decisions, random outages, temperature dependency and various autoregressive models for wind speed, solar radiation and natural inflows. Multiple fuels and Combined Cycle modelling details featuring non-convex heat rates, start-up/shutdown profiles, complex fuel transitions and operational modes.
Optimal power flow with losses fully integrated with dispatch and unit commitment. Security and n-x contingency constraints (SCUC), DC lines and phase shifters. Generic constraints and interface limits, transmission aggregation, Monte Carlo simulation, multiple AC networks, 10,000’s buses and lines, nodal pricing and price decomposition.
Planning Optimal generation and transmission expansion planning over 30+ year timeframe. Optimal NPV of investment and production costs, chronological expansion for detailed ramping, fast frequency control and replacement reserves investment opportunities. Stochastic 2-stage optimisation support, LRMC, optimal emission target decommissioning, capacity payments and reliability indices.
Highly detailed cascading hydro networks featuring GIS visualisation from Google Earth. Efficiency curves, head storage dependency, waterway flow delay times, spillways, evaporation, deterministic and Stochastic solutions over any horizon. Seamless integration with detailed short-term unit commitment via target volumes or future opportunity cost decomposition. Pump storage energy and ancillary market co-optimization.
Ancillary service provision co-optimised with generation dispatch and unit commitment. Detailed treatment of start-up and shutdown combined with ramping and reserve interaction minute-by-minute. Multiple reserve classes including spinning, regulation, up and down and replacement services.
Generation dispatch constrained by emission limits and/or reflective of emissions price and number of emission types. Flexible grouping for emission constraint sets over any timeframe including multi-annual.
An integrated gas-electric model allows detailed modelling of the physical delivery of gas from fields, through pipelines and storage to gas and electric demands. Gas and electric models are solved simultaneously allowing decision makers to trade-off gas investments, constraints and costs against other alternatives.
Comprehensive financial reporting to Generator, Region and Company level. Dynamic bidding of generation resources reflective of contract position and/or medium term revenue requirements based on recovery of build costs from capacity expansion planning. Bertrand and Cournot games, flexible user-defined mark-up definitions and automated schemes such as RSI.
Scope and Compatibility
Highly configurable timeframe and simulation interval as short as 1-minute. Choose between regional, zonal and full-nodal network detail. Multiple pricing, uplift and capacity payment options to support various market rules. Choice of commercial mathematical programming engines (CPLEX, Gurobi, MOSEK, Xpress-MP).
Quality tested to ensure the best product and fastest delivery
PLEXOS is built using the “Agile” software development process to meet your demands while delivering the best working software and regularly to you. Read about our quality process in this document and how it can greatly benefit you.
Read about our quality process
PLEXOS supports multiple licensing modes including:
- Standalone (node locked) licensing
- USB dongle
- Server-based licensing
PLEXOS requires a licence for one of the third-party mathematical programming packages listed on our Partners page. These licences are provided with PLEXOS by Energy Exemplar.
PLEXOS software and some of the mathematical programming packages are free for academics, but must be registered with a degree-issuing academic institution.
I have already been working with PLEXOS for almost a year. I can define my experience with the tool as absolutely enriching and advisable. Since I started working with it, I have been surprised of how powerful and useful it is. PLEXOS covers such extensive and accurate approach of modeling the market and provides different possibilities of modeling the different factors and drivers of the power market.
I used PLEXOS to model different power markets across the world, every of which had their own particularities –which implies the difficulty of different approach when modeling- ; thanks to such a powerful tool, the required knowledge and the incredibly great support from energy exemplar, every client case I used PLEXOS for the modeling part, the client happened to be very satisfied with the results and my company as well. I strongly recommend it to those new potential users thinking about joining the PLEXOS practice!
Elena De Juan Salgado
Boston Consulting Group
PLEXOS® is our tool of choice for NEM market & gas modelling. It gives us the flexibility to set up the model as we choose, and its scenario management is very sophisticated, allowing consistent assumptions to be applied to short, medium or long-term outlooks.
I’ve only been using PLEXOS for a couple of months, but I’m very excited about the flexibility and ease with which I can test a wide variety of different scenarios. By only supplying key inputs I get surprisingly accurate results, which I can confidently stand behind. So far PLEXOS has had more to offer than I’ve needed, and each time when I run into a dead end I get quick responses with from a diligent technical support.
It is truly amazing how Energy Exemplar seem to be breaking new boundaries. Firstly, the introduction of chronological optimization for the Long Term Optimzation studies seems to be paced right at time where renewables are the “flavour of the moment”. Secondly the introduction of the gas module again peached at the time where shale gas is shaping the market. Not only are the new features paced appropriately, the algorithms and results are truly stunning and this will definitely help to put policy options on a scientific footing. PLEXOS has been fascinating to use to produce the South African Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), the stochastic optimization aspect of it was helpful to establish the position of least regret, we are more confident that the next IRP will be more informative given that PLEXOS has given us new questions which need answers….
In an industry like Energy where advanced analytical solutions are extremely important and demanded, PLEXOS has been the ‘All in One tool’ for us for such analysis, from market modelling to planning, forecasting and optimization. With its perfectly designed GUI, we have saved great effort in formulating complex problems as well as good amount of time with its fast & flexible solver options in simulations.
Wärtsilä has used PLEXOS successfully for several years now. Purpose of our modelling work is to quantify the value of flexibility for power systems and for individual customer portfolios. The studies have clearly identified the need of more flexible generating resources in the future. Ease of creating models from scratch and the flexibility of PLEXOS have been keys for Wärtsilä when creating multiple models over a short time period. Also, Energy Exemplar’s willingness to develop the software, based on our needs, is highly appreciated. Over the years, several features proposed by Wärtsilä have been added to the PLEXOS”.
In the last few years I have successfully used PLEXOS for modelling different electricity markets. Its functionality and flexibility to model markets with different rules, the auditability of the optimization problems, the capability to model a market with different levels of detail within a single database, and the possibility of including your own custom-made algorithms through Open PLEXOS sealed the deal for me.
Professor Esteban Gil
Universidad Federico Santa Maria
PLEXOS is an incredibly important tool for any energy market practitioner. It’s fast, flexible and incredibly easy to get started with. The interface is user friendly and efficient to use. I don’t know where my company would be without it!
Dr. Ariel Liebman
Strategic Energy Market Services
PLEXOS gives us the right combination of simplicity and complexity, allowing us to include all of the relevant features of the regions we are studying whilst retaining control over the size of the model. The model framework is flexible and transparent enough to allow us to build meaningful models very quickly, and enables us to easily develop our model as our knowledge of the market changes, as our interests evolve, and as our modelling skills improve.
Paul Andrew Holtom
PLEXOS is a valued tool which provides CEZ with more insight into European power and carbon market dynamics. The analysis of fundamental drivers and their impact on the future balance of power systems is beneficial for both trading and investment decision purposes.
We are using PLEXOS for some time now and are feeling comfortable because of its intuitive user interface as well of its solving capacities. Having complex models to be solved, PLEXOS still computes the results in a fair period of time. The graphical solution viewer enables us to quickly check our models’ consistency. PLEXOS helps us understand cause and effect of market characteristics.
Borusan EnBW Enerji
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