With the recent technological advancements in communication infrastructures, mobile and cloud computing, smart devices, and power electronics, a renewed interest in power systems research has emerged. When these enabling technologies are jointly utilized to sense and actuate power generation, distribution, and demand, the resulting smart- grid has unprecedented capabilities. Some of these capabilities include remotely detecting the statuses of electricity generators, transmission lines and substations; monitoring electricity consumption; adjusting the power consumption of household applications to match supply, and reducing energy losses while increasing electricity grid reliability. As smart-grids begin to emerge, it is imperative to identify and evaluate critical components within the physical, computational, and communication architectures for both commercial product development and societal acceptance.
Within the smart-grid design hierarchy, micro-grids represent localized power grids containing both distribution and generation and arguably have the most to gain from developing new technologies for power conservation, distribution, and localized control. As such, micro-grids present many new challenges from the standpoint of con- trol and communication infrastructures.