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An adaptive critic design (ACD) based dynamic optimal power flow control (DOPFC) is proposed in this paper as a solution to the smart grid operation in a high short-term uncertainty and variability environment. With the increasing penetration of intermittent renewable generation, power system stability and security need to be ensured dynamically as the system operating condition continuously changes. The proposed DOPFC dynamically tracks the power system optimal operating point by continuously adjusting the steady-state set points from the traditional OPF algorithms. The ACD technique, specifically the dual heuristic dynamic programming (DHP), is used to provide nonlinear optimal control, where the control objective is formulated explicitly to incorporate system operation economy, stability and security considerations. A 12 bus test power system is used to demonstrate the development and effectiveness of the proposed ACD-based DOPFC using recurrent neural networks.