A Reference Model for Distribution Grid Control in the 21st Century

Intensive changes in the structure of the grid due to the penetration of new technologies, coupled with changing societal needs are outpacing the capabilities of traditional grid control systems. The gap is widening at an accelerating rate with the biggest impacts occurring at the distribution level due to the widespread adoption of diverse distribution-connected energy resources (DER).1 This paper outlines the emerging distribution grid control environment, defines the new distribution control problem, and provides a distribution control reference model. The reference model offers a schematic representation of the problem domain to inform development of system architecture and control solutions for the high-DER electric system.