Electric power network decision effects

Steven R. Harper, Deborah L. Thurston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electric power networks pose design decision complexities characteristic of other large engineered systems. A great number of decisions must be made by many decision-makers, some decisions are made in a sequential manner over very long time periods, objectives compete, a large number of feasible solutions exist, and one decision-maker's actions can impact others, whose reactions in turn can affect the original decision-maker. This article addresses these issues, with a focus on the problem of determining when and how to consider decisions as an individual decision-maker vs. as part of a networked system. An electric power network analysis is presented, where local plant managers must decide when to replace existing power generation equipment (coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, and hydropower) with an equivalent number of 12-megawatt natural gas-fueled microturbine generators. Competing objectives include cost, reliability, and environmental impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-49
Number of pages28
JournalEngineering Economist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Engineering(all)


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