UAiPhD: Flexibility Aggregator Simulation Platform (FRESNO): Optimal Bidding in the Wholesale and Local Markets (FRESNO A)

Applications open
Applications close
28 February 2021
Payment per year
4 years
The University of Adelaide Industry PhD (UAiPhD)
Postgraduate Research
Australian Citizens
Australian Permanent Residents
New Zealand Citizens
Permanent Humanitarian Visa Holders
International Students
Type of Scholarship
Financial Need
Available In
Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences
Available To

The University of Adelaide Industry PhD (UAiPhD) program and scholarship

The UAiPhD is an innovative 4 year program, which includes completion of a 6 month industry placement.

As a PhD student, you will have the opportunity to work on an industry problem, while being supported by a University of Adelaide supervisor and an industry supervisor for the duration of the program.

In addition, you will undertake selected professional development activities offered through the University’s Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) program or as directed by the industry partner. During your placement, you will gain valuable understanding on how organisations innovate and solve real world problems, and how you can make an impact with your research, while gaining a significant employment advantage.

Detailed information about the program can be found on our UAiPhD (iPhD) website.

The exciting project with SEAS-NVE Holding A/S is highlighted below.

Project name 

Flexibility Aggregator Simulation Platform (FRESNO): Optimal Bidding in the Wholesale and Local Markets (FRESNO A)

Project description

While there is a unanimous agreement among different stakeholders and beneficiaries about transforming electricity grid through a large integration of intermittent renewable generation, there seems to be no economic and practical solution to deal with the intermittency of generation in the future. Among a handful of proposals, demand flexibility has been proven as a cheap, sustainable and green solution to solve the issues of uncertain and fluctuating power supply, which is recognized by the industry as well. For instance, South Australia, with the largest amount of rooftop solar PV per capita in the world, is planning to create the largest virtual power plant (VPP) in the world consisting of 50,000 prosumers with storage behind-the-meter. Nevertheless, several aspects of demand flexibility aggregation, such as business model, economic and technical issues of implementation, consumers behaviour modelling, and emerging local energy markets, are still unknown in practice. 

The “Flexibility Aggregator Simulation Platform (FRESNO)” is a research project that is designed to create a platform to simulate, test and verify advanced smart grid operation mechanisms at the distribution level. It is a revolutionary platform that is hoped to facilitate larger amounts of renewable integration into the grid and provides a secure environment for larger adoption of electric vehicles. Three major research problems are identified in collaboration with SEAS-NVE to develop the first version of FRESNO. The three projects will be conducted simultaneously and in close collaboration with each other.

 FRESNO A – This project aims to develop/test/verify an optimal bidding engine for an aggregator that can collect a sufficient amount of increased welfare, essential for developing a viable business model and investment in infrastructure. Different ideas will be tested in this project with the main focus on the wholesale energy and ancillary services markets by addressing the low-profit margin and uncertainties of the wholesale market and demand flexibility. The impact of various local and wholesale market products, cooperative aggregators operation and physical constraints of the grid will be investigated in the proposed business model.

Ideal Candidate
This is a multi-disciplinary research project at the intersection of optimisation, statistical analysis and inference, and power system/electricity market. Candidates with a degree (preferably a master’s degree) in electrical engineering, computer science, operations research, and applied mathematics are encouraged to apply. We are looking for candidates with proven skills and knowledge in:
•    Power system operation and integration of renewable generation (preferred)
•    Stochastic optimisation, statistics and probabilities, preferably with applications to power system
•    Electricity market
•    Programming in Python or MATLAB

Scholarship and Eligibility 

This project is open to both international and domestic students who are currently onshore in Australia and are able to commence the PhD by 31 March 2021. 

The successful applicant may receive a scholarship of approximately $38,092 tax free per annum. This consists of a University funded Research Training Program Scholarship of $28,092 per annum (2020 rate), alongside an Industry Partner Scholarship of $10,000 per annum. 

In addition, $5,000 per annum will be provided to cover the cost of conference attendance (registration fee, travel, accommodation and meals), publication cost, thesis production allowance, software subscription if needed. 

For the duration of the industry placement, an additional $1,500 will be paid to the candidate to compensate for the extra living costs in Denmark. The industry partner will also pay for one two-way economy ticket between Adelaide and Copenhagen for the industry placement.

Details of the terms and conditions of the scholarship and all benefits can be found in the Conditions of Award: 

UAiPhD_Conditions of Award_New Students_JULY 2020.pdf 

Research Project Location

The University of Adelaide – North Terrace Campus

Industry Placement Description

Located in Haslev, Denmark, this 6-month placement at the Department of Digital Innovation of SEAS-NVE will enable the student to develop methods to quantify the wholesale market uncertainties and to test the effectiveness and caveats of the aggregator bidding engine in real-time. A small demo will be set up to continuously receive information from the wholesale market and to devise the best bids for the next interval. This setup will allow us to evaluate the performance of the bidding engine with real data. In connection with the other two projects, the downstream communication with the prosumers will also be implemented to complete the loop. This is in conjunction with the SEAS-NVE ‘energy communities as a service’ tools and home energy management system (HEMS) installed to become assets in the grid. During the placement, company representatives (some of them PhD graduates) will supervise the student's work and provide access to resources, tools (current software developed by the company) and training to the student throughout the whole project duration.


University of Adelaide
Faculty: School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Supervisor(s): Dr Ali Pourmousavi Kani (primary supervisor)
Industry Partner
SEAS-NVE Holding A/S
Supervisor: Jon Anders Reichert Liisberg

Application instructions

The first step in being considered for this iPhD is to provide a copy of your CV and academic transcripts to the relevant supervisor of the project you are interested in before 28 February 2021. Following this, suitable applicants will be able to apply for admission and scholarship. Candidates should include the title of the advertised project in their application. 

For this project the relevant supervisor is Dr Ali Pourmousavi Kani

**Note: This project is open to both international and domestic students who are currently onshore in Australia. That being said, please ensure to include your current address in Australia in order to be considered. 

Information and Assistance

iPhD project information:
Nathan Crabe:

General scholarship information: