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In this paper, at first, a more realistic formulation of the economic dispatch (ED) problem is proposed, which considers more practical constraints and nonlinear characteristics than previous works in the area. The proposed ED formulation includes ramp rate limits, prohibited operating zones (POZs), system spinning reserve, valve loading effects, and multiple fuel options, which usually are found simultaneously in realistic power systems. In the next stage, security constraints of the power system are also included in the proposed model, which leads to nonconvex ED problem with AC constraints. To solve this problem a new real-coded genetic algorithm (RCGA) with arithmetic-average-bound crossover (AABX) and hybrid mutation (HM) is presented. HM of the proposed RCGA is composed of wavelet and Michalewicz mutations. The effectiveness of the proposed RCGA to solve both the ED and ED with AC constraints is shown on different test systems and compared with some of the most recently published research works in the area.