1.1 Background

Matpower [12] is a package of Matlab® M-files for solving power flow and optimal power flow problems. It is intended as a simulation tool for researchers and educators that is easy to use and modify. Matpower is designed to give the best performance possible while keeping the code simple to understand and modify. The Matpower website can be found at:


Matpower was initially developed by Ray D. Zimmerman, Carlos E. Murillo-Sánchez and Deqiang Gan of PSerc1 at Cornell University under the direction of Robert J. Thomas. The initial need for Matlab-based power flow and optimal power flow code was born out of the computational requirements of the PowerWeb project2 . Many others have contributed to Matpower over the years and it continues to be developed and maintained under the direction of Ray Zimmerman.

Beginning with version 6, Matpower includes a framework for solving generalized steady-state electric power scheduling problems. This framework is known as MOST, for Matpower Optimal Scheduling Tool [34].

MOST can be used to solve problems as simple as a deterministic, single period economic dispatch problem with no transmission constraints or as complex as a stochastic, security-constrained, combined unit-commitment and multiperiod optimal power flow problem with locational contingency and load-following reserves, ramping costs and constraints, deferrable demands, lossy storage resources and uncertain renewable generation.

MOST is documented separately from the main Matpower package in its own manual, the MOST User’s Manual.