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Prescient is a python library that provides production cost modeling capabilities for power generation and distribution networks.


Documentation is available at

Getting started


The following must be installed before using Prescient:

  • Python 3.7 or later
  • A mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) solver
    • Open source: CBC, GLPK, SCIP, ...
    • Commercial: CPLEX, Gurobi, Xpress, ...


Installing via pip

Prescient is available as a python package that can be installed using pip. To install the latest release of Prescient use the following command:

pip install gridx-prescient

Installing from source

You may want to install from source if you want to use the latest pre-release version of the code, or if you want to modify/contribute to the code yourself. Install from source by following these steps:

  1. Install EGRET from source according to the instructions here. This is necessary because pre-release versions of Prescient sometimes depend on pre-release versions of EGRET.
  2. Clone or download/extract the Prescient repository.
  3. Install Prescient into the environment as an editable package by issuing the following command from the root of the Prescient repository:
    pip install -e .
    This will install Prescient as a Python module while obtaining necessary dependencies.

Solver Installation

Prescient requires a pyomo-compatible MILP solver. A commercial solver (CPLEX, Gurobi, or Xpress) is recommended over open source solvers. If a commercial solver is not available we recommend installing the open source CBC MILP solver.


On Windows, Linux, and Mac platforms, CBC can be installed using Anaconda:

conda install -c conda-forge coincbc

Binaries for additional platforms may be available from


Instructions for installing Python bindings for CPLEX can be found here.


Python bindings for Gurobi can be installed via conda:

conda install -c gurobi gurobi

Depending on your license, you may not be able to use the latest version of the solver. A specific release can be installed as follows:

conda install -c gurobi gurobi=8


Xpress Python bindings are available through PyPI, e.g.:

pip install xpress

Depending on your license, you may need to install a specific version of the solver, e.g.,

pip install xpress==8.8.6

RTS-GMLC Example Model

Prescient is packaged with a utility to test and demonstrate its functionality. Here we will walk through the simulation of an RTS-GMLC case.

From the command line, navigate to the following directory (relative to the repository root):

cd prescient/downloaders/

In that directory, there is a file named Run it:


This script clones the repository of the RTS-GMLC dataset and formats it for Prescient input. Once the process is complete, the location of the downloaded and processed files will be printed to the command prompt. Navigate to that directory:

cd ../..
cd downloads/rts_gmlc/

There will be a number of text files in this directory. These text files contain invocations and options for executing Prescient programs. For example, the populate_with_network_deterministic.txt file is used to run the Prescient populator for generating scenarios for one week of data using the RTS-GMLC data. These text files are provided to the command (a utility installed with Prescient). Start by running the populator for one week of data. populate_with_network_deterministic.txt

You can follow its progress through console output. Once complete, a new folder in your working directory deterministic_with_network_scenarios will appear. The folders within contain the generated scenario.

The configuration that will be used to run the simulator is in simulate_with_network_deterministic.txt. The configuration assumes you have installed the solver CBC. If you are using another solver you will need to edit the following options in the configuration file to specify the appropriate solver:


For example, if you were using Xpress, these lines would be changed to:


and similarily for Gurobi (gurobi) and CPLEX (cplex).

You can now run the simulator. Once again you will use the command: simulate_with_network_deterministic.txt

You can watch the progress of the simulator as it is printed to the console. After a period of time, the simulation will be complete. The results will be found a in a new folder deterministic_with_network_simulation_output. In that directory, there will be a number of .csv files containing simulation results. An additional folder plots contains stack graphs for each day in the simulation, summarizing generation and demand at each time step.

Contributing to Prescient

Contributor Agreement

By contributing to this software project, you are agreeing to the following terms and conditions for your contributions:

  • You agree your contributions are submitted under the BSD license.
  • You represent you are authorized to make the contributions and grant the license. If your employer has rights to intellectual property that includes your contributions, you represent that you have received permission to make contributions and grant the required license on behalf of that employer.

Developer Regression Tests

Regression tests are run automatically with each pull request. You can also run regression tests on your local machine using the following command from the repository root:

pytest -v prescient/simulator/tests/