Sustainable Community Control

Power system operators are actively seeking solutions to increase electric grid power flexibility and inertia, to accommodate deeper renewable integration. Buildings account for 75% of the total electricity use in the US and have great potential for grid reliability support at various time and spatial scales. Due to the limited bidding power of individual buildings, grid services are often provided by a fleet of small buildings managed by tailored coordination strategies. We have developed two families of control methods for building cluster energy management based on the inter-building coordination mode: (1) dictatorial load control and (2) market-based and game theoretic load shifting control. In the dictatorial load control scheme, a central authority dictates the operation strategies of all participating buildings. It is suitable for cases where a single entity owns and manages multiple buildings. The game-theoretic control strategies are applicable to coaliational control of multiple self-interested buildings and application scenarios include multi-tenant office buildings, where a single utility bill needs to be distributed across different tenants, and communities with shared resources/constraints, e.g., solar power or limited distribution capacity.

Fig. Comparison of baseline and game-theoretic control results for a six-building cluster.

We have developed a game theoretic framework for analysis of building cluster load controls. Specifically, our work established the Nash equilibrium existence and uniqueness conditions for a variety of building cluster-grid interactive control scenarios, including peak demand-constrained control and load dispatch subject to linear and exponential price models. Both centralized and distribution Nash equilibrium solution algorithms were devised along with characterization of their convergence properties.


  • Jiang, Z. and Cai, J., Game-Theoretic Control of Flexible Loads of Building Clusters subject to Generic Marginal Cost Curves, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, 2022, under review.
  • Cai, J. and Jiang, Z., Primal-Dual Distributed Control of Residential Load Aggregation for Distribution Voltage Regulation, Solar Energy, 2022, under review.
  • Jiang, Z. and Cai, J., A Potential Game Approach for Optimal Load Management of Demand-Side Aggregators, American Control Conference, 2022.
  • Jiang, Z. and Cai, J., Game Theoretic Control of Thermal Loads in Demand Response Aggregators, American Control Conference, 2021.