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This paper presents an artificial immune system based optimization approach for solving the economic dispatch problem in a power system. Economic dispatch determines the electrical power to be generated by the committed generating units in a power system so that the generation cost is minimised, while satisfying the load demand simultaneously. The developed artificial immune system optimization technique used the total generation cost as the objective function and represented as the affinity measure. Through genetic evolution, the antibodies with high affinity measure are produced and become the solution. The simulation results reveal that the developed technique is easy to implement, converged within an acceptable execution time and highly optimal solution for economic dispatch with minimum generation cost can be achieved. The result also confirms that AIS based optimization technique can be a useful tool for solving optimal solution in economic dispatch problem, which involves a large number of generating units and at the same time to comply with a large number of constraints.