The ORCED (Oak Ridge Competitive Electricity Dispatch) model dispatches the power plants in a region to meet the electricity demands for any given year up to 2030. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in the USA have developed three versions of the software since the first edition in 1996, and the latest can be freely downloaded from [1]. The number of users is unknown and it will take approximately one week of training to learn how to use the model.

ORCED uses public sources of data describing electric power units such as those from the National Energy Modelling System (NEMS), and hourly demands from utility submittals to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that are projected to a future year. The model simulates a single region of the US for a given year, matching generation to demands on an hourly basis, assuming no transmission constraints within the region and limited transmission in and out of the region. ORCED can calculate a number of key financial and operating parameters for generating units, including average and marginal prices, air emissions, and generation adequacy. By running the model with and without demand changes, such as recharging plug-in hybrids or operating distributed generation, the marginal impact of these technologies can be found. Only the electricity sector is simulated using ORCED, and it can account for all thermal and renewable generation except wave and tidal power. The only storage and conversion device considered by ORCED is pumped-hydroelectric energy-storage.

ORCED has been used to assess the impacts of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles on regional electricity generation [2], to identify the contribution of hydropower to reducing GHG [3] and to design mechanisms for policy makers to recover transition costs from a regulated to restructured market (including uneconomic generation and long-term contracts) [4]. Other studies (e.g., restructured power prices in the Pacific Northwest, restructuring electricity markets in Oklahoma, carbon tax impacts, biomass resources in the southeast) have been done and are linked on the ORCED website [1].


  1. Oak Ridge Competitive Electricity Dispatch (ORCED) Model, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 26th April 2009,http://www.ornl.gov/sci/ees/pes/capabilities_ORCED.html
  2. Hadley, S. W. & Tsvetkova, A. Potential Impacts of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles on Regional Power Generation. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2008,http://www.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/v41_1_08/regional_phev_analysis.pdf.
  3. Sale, M. J. & Hadley, S. W. Estimating Hydropower’s Contribution to the Control of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2002,http://www.ornl.gov/sci/engineering_science_technology/cooling_heating_power/orced/reports/WPXIIGHG.PDF
  4. Hirst, E. & Hadley, S., Designing True-up Mechanisms to Recover Transition Costs. The Electricity Journal,11(8), pp. 61-70, 1998.