This paper focuses on the optimal intraday scheduling of a distribution system that includes renewable energy (RE) generation, energy storage systems (ESSs), and thermostatically controlled loads (TCLs). This system also provides time-of-use pricing to customers. Unlike previous studies, this study attempts to examine how to optimize the allocation of electric energy and to improve the equilibrium of the load curve. Accordingly, we propose a concept of load equilibrium entropy to quantify the overall equilibrium of the load curve and reflect the allocation optimization of electric energy. Based on this entropy, we built a novel multi-objective optimal dispatching model to minimize the operational cost and maximize the load curve equilibrium. To aggregate TCLs into the optimization objective, we introduced the concept of a virtual power plant (VPP) and proposed a calculation method for VPP operating characteristics based on the equivalent thermal parameter model and the state-queue control method. The Particle Swarm Optimization algorithm was employed to solve the optimization problems. The simulation results illustrated that the proposed dispatching model can achieve cost reductions of system operations, peak load curtailment, and efficiency improvements, and also verified that the load equilibrium entropy can be used as a novel index of load characteristics.
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