Call for Participation: Power TAC 2012 -- Inaugural Competition

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Call for Participation: Power TAC 2012 -- Inaugural Competition

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainable energy systems of the future will need more than efficient, clean, low-cost, renewable energy sources; they will also need efficient price signals that motivate sustainable energy consumption as well as a better real-time alignment of energy demand and supply. In Power TAC, agents act as retail brokers in a local power distribution region, purchasing power from a wholesale market as well as from local sources, such as homes and businesses with solar panels, and selling power to local customers and into the wholesale market. Retail brokers must solve a supply-chain problem in which the product is infinitely perishable, and supply and demand must be exactly balanced at all times.

We invite you to participate in the first annual Power Trading Agent Competition (Power TAC - see Participants will design autonomous trading agents that act as retail brokers, earning profits by selling tariff contracts to customers and trading in a wholesale market for bulk power. The simulation scenario is designed to provide a range of challenges to broker agents, including a day-ahead market for wholesale power, realistic weather forecasts (which affect the output of wind and solar energy, as well as consumption), customers with uncertain demand and a variety of preferences over tariff terms, and a distribution utility that charges for energy transport and for imbalances between supply and demand. Tariffs can offer fixed, time-of-use, or dynamic pricing, and a number of other features that are commonly available in liberalized power markets.

Power TAC 2012 is part of the Thirteenth Annual Trading Agent Competition (TAC-12), to be held in May and June of 2012, with the finals taking place during the AAMAS-12 conference in Valencia (June 4-8), preceded by qualifying and seeding rounds in May and early June. You may register for the competition any time through 15 April 2012. The Power TAC Game Master is Wolf Ketter (, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, and Power TAC Operation Chair is John Collins (, University of Minnesota.

The latest version of the simulation server and a sample broker implementation are available for evaluation and broker development. See for details, including the formal game specification and links to the software and developer resources. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us directly.

We hope to see you in Valencia!

Wolf Ketter, John Collins, and the Power TAC team