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This paper presents the study of different communication systems between IEC 61850 based distribution substation and distributed energy resources (DERs). Communication networks have been simulated for a typical distribution automation system (DAS) with DERs using OPNET software. The simulation study shows the performance of wired and wireless communication systems for different messages, such as GOOSE and measured (metered) values between DAS and DERs. A laboratory set-up has been implemented using commercial relay and communication devices for evaluating the performance of GOOSE messages, using wired and wireless physical medium. Finally, simulation and laboratory results are discussed in detail.