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The first of this two-paper series formulates a stochastic security-constrained multi-period electricity market-clearing problem with unit commitment. The stochastic security criterion accounts for a pre-selected set of random generator and line outages with known historical failure rates and involuntary load shedding as optimization variables. Unlike the classical deterministic reserve-constrained unit commitment, here the reserve services are determined by economically penalizing the operation of the market by the expected load not served. The proposed formulation is a stochastic programming problem that optimizes, concurrently with the pre-contingency social welfare, the expected operating costs associated with the deployment of the reserves following the contingencies. This stochastic programming formulation is solved in the second companion paper using mixed-integer linear programming methods. Two cases are presented: a small transmission-constrained three-bus network scheduled over a horizon of four hours and the IEEE Reliability Test System scheduled over 24 h. The impact on the resulting generation and reserve schedules of transmission constraints and generation ramp limits, of demand-side reserve, of the value of load not served, and of the constitution of the pre-selected set of contingencies are assessed.