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This paper introduces an experimental platform (SYSLAB) for the research on advanced control and power system communication in distributed power systems and one of its components-an intelligent office building (PowerFlexHouse), which is used to investigate the technical potential for active load management. It also presents in detail how to implement a thermal model predictive controller (MPC) for the heaters' power consumption prediction in the PowerFlexHouse. It demonstrates that this MPC strategy can realize load shifting, and using good predictions in MPC-based control, a better matching of demand and supply can be achieved. With this demand side control study, it is expected that MPC strategy for active load management can dramatically raise energy efficiency and improve grid reliability, when there is a high penetration of intermittent energy resources in the power system.