Optimal transmission switching: Economic efficiency and market implications

Kory Hedman, Shmuel S. Oren, Richard P. O'Neill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Traditionally, transmission assets for bulk power flow in the electric grid have been modeled as fixed assets in the short run, except during times of forced outages or maintenance. This traditional view does not permit reconfiguration of the transmission grid by the system operators to improve system performance and economic efficiency. The current push to create a smarter grid has brought to the forefront the possibility of co-optimizing generation along with the network topology by incorporating the control of transmission assets within the economic dispatch formulations. Unfortunately, even though such co-optimization improves the social welfare, it may be incompatible with prevailing market design practices since it can create winners and losers among market participants and it has unpredictable distributional consequences in the energy market and in the financial transmission rights (FTR) market. In this paper, we first provide an overview of recent research on optimal transmission switching, which demonstrates the substantial economic benefit that is possible even while satisfying standard N-1 reliability requirements. We then discuss various market implications resulting from co-optimizing the network topology with generation and we examine how transmission switching may affect locational Marginal Prices (LMPs), i. e., energy prices, and revenue adequacy in the FTR market when FTR settlements are financed by congestion revenues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-140
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Regulatory Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Financial transmission rights
  • Optimal transmission switching
  • Power generation dispatch
  • Power system economics
  • Power transmission economics
  • Revenue adequacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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