Online Optimization of Virtual Power Plant [SmartGrid Seminar]

Online Optimization of Virtual Power Plant
Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 1:30pm
Shriram 104
Emiliano Dall'Anese (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
Abstract / Description: 

Traditional approaches for regulating and maintaining system frequency in power transmission systems leverage primary frequency response, automatic generation control (AGC), and regulation services provided by synchronous generators. In the future, on the other hand, distributed energy resources (DERs) at both utility level and in commercial/residential settings are envisioned to complement traditional generation-side capabilities at multiple time scales to aid frequency regulation and maintaining a reliable system operation. Aligned with this emerging vision, this talk considers a distribution system featuring DERs, and presents a system-theoretic optimization strategy for DERs that enables a distribution feeder to emulate a virtual power plant effectively providing services to the main grid at multiple temporal scales. An online distributed algorithm for DERs is designed to enable the active and reactive power at the feeder head to track given setpoints (e.g, dispatch, ramp, or AGC signals), while concurrently ensuring that electrical quantities are within given limits throughout the feeder. The design of the online algorithm leverages primal-dual gradient methods applied to pertinent minimax problems, and its stability is analyzed under a time-varying optimization formalism. The talk will also demonstrates how individual DERs can provide primary frequency response; particularly, power-frequency droop slopes for individual DERs can be designed so that the distribution feeder presents a guaranteed frequency-regulation characteristic at the feeder head.


The theme of this quarter's Stanford SmartGrid seminar series is on smart grids and energy systems, scheduled to be held on Thursdays, with speakers from academic institutions and industry.

This quarter's speakers are renowned experts in power and energy systems, and we believe they will bring novel insights and fruitful discussions to Stanford. This seminar is offered as a 1 unit seminar course, CEE 272T/EE292T for interested students. This course can be repeated for credit for the students.

SmartGrid Seminar Organization Team:

  • Ram Rajagopal, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Chin-Woo Tan, Director, Stanford Smart Grid Lab
  • Wenyuan Tang, Postdoctoral Scholar, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Yuting Ji, Postdoctoral Scholar, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Emre Kara, Associate Staff Scientist, SLAC


Emiliano Dall'Anese received the Laurea Triennale (B.Sc Degree) and the Laurea Specialistica (M.Sc Degree) in Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Padova, Italy, in 2005 and 2007, respectively, and the Ph.D. in Information Engineering from the Department of Information Engineering, University of Padova, Italy, in 2011. From January 2009 to September 2010, he was a visiting scholar at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Minnesota, USA. From January 2011 to November 2014 he was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Digital Technology Center of the University of Minnesota, within the group of Prof. Georgios Giannakis. Since December 2014 he has been a Senior Engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. His research interests lie in the areas of optimization and signal processing, with applications for power systems and communications. Current efforts focus on distributed optimization and control of power distribution systems with distributed (renewable) energy resources, and statistical inference for grid data analytics.