WIAS Preprint No. 2010, (2014)

Probabilistic constraints via SQP solver: Application to a renewable energy management problem


  • Bremer, Ingo
  • Henrion, René
  • Möller, Andris

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 90C15 90B05


  • probabilistic constraints, renewable energies, multivariate Gaussian probability, SQP with low precision data


The aim of this paper is to illustrate the efficient solution of nonlinear optimization problems with joint probabilistic constraints by means of an SQP method. Here, the random vector is assumed to obey some multivariate Gaussian distribution. The numerical solution approach is applied to a renewable energy management problem. We consider a coupled system of hydro and wind power production used in order to satisfy some local demand of energy and to sell/buy excessive or missing energy on a day-ahead and intraday market, respectively. A short term planning horizon of 2 days is considered and only wind power is assumed to be random. In the first part of the paper, we develop an appropriate optimization problem involving a probabilistic constraint reflecting demand satisfaction. Major attention will be payed to formulate this probabilistic constraint not directly in terms of random wind energy produced but rather in terms of random wind speed, in order to benefit from a large data base for identifying an appropriate distribution of the random parameter. The second part presents some details on integrating Genz' code for Gaussian probabilities of rectangles into the environment of the SQP solver SNOPT. The procedure is validated by means of a simplified optimization problem which by its convex structure allows to estimate the gap between the numerical and theoretical optimal values, respectively. In the last part, numerical results are presented and discussed for the original (nonconvex) optimization problem.

Appeared in

  • Comput. Manag. Sci., 12 (2015) pp. 435--459.

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