Integrated network partitioning and DERs allocation for planning of Virtual Microgrids

Qigang Wu, Fei Xue*, Shaofeng Lu, Lin Jiang, Tao Huang, Xiaoliang Wang, Yiyan Sang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The Virtual Microgrid (VM) method is a solution for addressing challenges in Conventional Distribution Network (CDN), such as power fluctuations or load mismatches, by actively partitioning the CDN into interconnected Microgrid-style VMs. Previous studies have fewer discussions about the mutual interaction between the grid's partition performance and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) allocation. This paper proposes a new approach for dividing a large power grid into clusters by using the complex network theorem. The approach integrates power flow dynamic, line impedance, generator-load relations and power generator cost-efficiency into a single static weighted adjacency matrix. Meanwhile, a multi-objective Genetic Algorithm (GA) planning structure is also denoted for transforming a CDN to VMs with mutual interaction between partition and DER allocation. The proposed metric is tested in both transmission and distribution networks. The IEEE 118-bus system test shows that even with a higher value of the proposed indicator, there are fewer power exchanges between sub-networks. Meanwhile, in the 69-bus radial system tests, the GA-based co-planning method outperforms previous methods in forming more self-sufficient and more efficient interconnected VMs. An intermediate solution is suggested by implementing a trade-off between inter-VM power exchange and the operation cost.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109024
JournalElectric Power Systems Research
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Complex networks
  • Microgrids
  • Power system modeling
  • Power system planning
  • Renewable energy sources


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