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The main purpose of this paper is to analyse distributed computing technology for substation automation systems. Based on performance comparative results obtained in laboratory, a specific model for distributed substation automation is proposed considering the current model employed at Copel-Companhia Paranaense de Energia. The proposed model is based on the multi-agents technology, which has lately received special attention in the development of distributed systems with local intelligence. The model includes a negotiation schema based on which the control of individual substations is assigned to specific system operators.