Date of Award

Fall 9-2016

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Gabriela Hug

Second Advisor

Soummya Kar


It is expected that the grid of the future differs from the current system by the increased integration of distributed generation, distributed storage, demand response, power electronics, and communications and sensing technologies. The consequence is that the physical structure of the system becomes significantly more distributed. The existing centralized control structure is not suitable any more to operate such a highly distributed system. This thesis is dedicated to providing a promising solution to a class of energy management problems in power systems with a high penetration of distributed resources. This class includes optimal dispatch problems such as optimal power flow, security constrained optimal dispatch, optimal power flow control and coordinated plug-in electric vehicles charging. Our fully distributed algorithm not only handles the computational complexity of the problem, but also provides a more practical solution for these problems in the emerging smart grid environment. This distributed framework is based on iteratively solving in a distributed fashion the first order optimality conditions associated with the optimization formulations. A multi-agent viewpoint of the power system is adopted, in which at each iteration, every network agent updates a few local variables through simple computations, and exchanges information with neighboring agents. Our proposed distributed solution is based on the consensus+innovations framework, in which the consensus term enforces agreement among agents while the innovations updates ensure that local constraints are satisfied.