As industry, businesses, and families day to day life rely more and more on new technologies and electrical appliances, economic reports present a growth in energy demand. This leads to the need for additional energy suppliers, which are usually smaller, spread around (geographically), and integrated to the power grid in “smart” manner. The shift to distributed power generation creates challenges related to their operation.
We propose a novel approach for solving an economic dispatch (ED) problem of a power network comprised of micro-gas turbines (MGT) together with a utility. The ED problem is naturally formulated as a mixed-integer nonlinear optimization problem which is known to be computationally difficult to solve. We present a numerically efficient solution to this problem by decomposing the ED algorithm into two parts. The first part of the decomposition attains an analytic solution for allocating the output power of each MGT as a function of the total requested power. The second part determines the desired total output power from the MGTs by modeling all the generators as a single unit. In this way, the problem reduces to a standard ED problem, and we show how to solve this efficiently using the celebrated shortest path algorithm. This new approach significantly reduces the run-time needed to solve a complex optimization problem. We support our results with a numerical study.