Real-Time Feedback-Based Optimization of Distribution Grids: A Unified Approach

Emiliano Dall-Anese, Andrey Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus Citations


This paper develops an algorithmic framework for real-time optimization of distribution-level distributed energy resources (DERs). The framework optimizes the operation of both DERs that are individually controllable and groups of DERs (i.e., aggregations) that are jointly controlled at an electrical point of connection. From an electrical standpoint, wye and delta single- and multi-phase connections are accounted for. The algorithm enables (groups of) DERs to pursue given performance objectives, while adjusting their (aggregate) powers to respond to services requested by grid operators and to maintain electrical quantities within engineering limits. The design of the algorithm leverages a time-varying bi-level problem formulation capturing various performance objectives and engineering constraints, and an online implementation of primal-dual projected-gradient methods. The gradient steps are suitably modified to accommodate appropriate measurements from the distribution network and the DERs. Stability and convergence claims are established in terms of tracking of the solution of the time-varying optimization problem. The method is tested in a realistic distribution.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1197-1209
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5D00-70689


  • distributed energy resources
  • distribution systems
  • feedback-based optimization
  • time-varying optimization


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