Henry Chai ’14


Operations Research and Financial Engineering

Project Title

SMART-ISO: An Intelligent Simulator for the PJM Power Grid

For my summer internship working in the Princeton Laboratory for Energy Systems Analysis (PENSA), I researched the functioning of the Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey Interconnection portion of the electricity grid (known as PJM interconnect). More specifically, I mined and processed data concerning the generation of and demand for electricity along the interconnect. I performed extensive time series/regression analysis on the mined data and used machine learning tools to fill in gaps within the data. Through my research I learned about the coding language SQL as well as the general structure of the PJM interconnect. I also learned more generally about approximate dynamic programming techniques and electricity markets along the east coast. My work is relevant to PEI in that the research I did over the summer allowed the PENSA lab to run simulations on the entire grid, calculating local marginal prices of electricity. These simulations will also allow for exploration into the efficiency of certain operational plans of generation. More specifically, my intended future work in this area will explore the most efficient application of grid level storage throughout the PJM Interconnect.

Internship Year


Project Category

Climate and Energy


Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey


Warren Powell, Professor, Operations Research and Financial Engineering