IEEE Transactions on Power Systems

Optimal Regulation of Virtual Power Plants

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This paper develops a real-time algorithmic framework for aggregations of distributed energy resources (DERs) in distribution networks to provide regulation services in response to transmission-level requests. Leveraging online primal-dual-type methods for time-varying optimization problems and suitable linearizations of the nonlinear AC power-flow equations, this work establishes a system-theoretic foundation to realize the vision of distribution-level virtual power plants. The optimization framework controls the output powers of dispatchable DERs such that, in aggregate, they respond to automatic generation control and/or regulation-services commands. This is achieved while concurrently regulating voltages within the feeder and maximizing customers' and utility's performance objectives. Convergence and tracking capabilities are analytically established under suitable modeling assumptions. Simulations are provided to validate the proposed approach.