Energy hubs is an integrated system which is capable of transporting, transforming, and storing several types of energy. A number of hubs can be combined as a network and achieve higher efficiency by exchanging information and energy with each other. A decision-making framework for optimal integration of independent small-scale distributed energy systems and traditional large scale combined heating and power (CHP) plants is presented, and an energy supply system with renewable energy resources in Shanghai is cited as a case study. A performance simulation model of this energy network is proposed based on energy hub concept and energy flow between its elements. Furthermore, a novel optimization method named Whales optimization algorithm (WOA) is presented for 24 h operational optimization. A case study is undertaken on a seven-node energy system, including four energy hubs and three load hubs. The results of the case study show that the proposed model and optimization method can improve energy utilization efficiency and reduce system operating costs, even under a system contingency condition.

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