Peak Demand Management and Voltage Regulation Using Coordinated Virtual Power Plant Controls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aggregation of distributed energy resources (DERs) enables them to provide various grid services as a virtual power plant (VPP). Utilities use enterprise control solutions, such as advanced distribution management systems (ADMS) and distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS), to efficiently integrate DERs and realize the benefits of a VPP. These control solutions can complement each other to offer additional benefits. This paper evaluates the coordinated operation of an ADMS and a DERMS that collectively implements a VPP to provide peak demand reduction and voltage regulation through the simulation of an actual distribution feeder. A commercial ADMS reduces the peak demand through conservation voltage reduction (CVR). A prototype DERMS dispatches residential battery energy storage systems (BESS) based on real-time optimal power flow to provide additional peak demand reduction. The DERMS also maintains voltage regulation across the feeder by controlling both residential batteries and rooftop PV systems. The results from the controller-hardware-in-the-loop (CHIL) real-time simulations conducted in a realistic laboratory environment show that the coordinated operation of the ADMS and the DERMS effectively achieves peak demand reduction while enforcing voltage regulation across the feeder. Specifically, the ADMS dynamic voltage regulation (DVR) application and DERMS working together achieved a peak demand reduction of nearly 500 kW, whereas the ADMS DVR application alone obtained a reduction of approximately 100 kW. The DERMS VPP control in this work relies on the residential BESS for the demand reduction; the demand reduction accomplished depends on the BESS capacity available in the distribution system.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)130674-130687
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5D00-81105


  • ADMS
  • advanced distribution management system
  • DER
  • DER aggregator
  • distributed energy resource
  • distributed energy resource management system
  • distribution system
  • energy storage
  • optimal power flow
  • virtual power plant
  • voltage regulation
  • VPP


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