© 2021 Elsevier B.V.One of the most difficult types of problems computationally is the security-constrained optimal power flow (SCOPF), a non-convex, nonlinear, large-scale, nondeterministic polynomial time optimization problem. With the use of renewable energy sources in the SCOPF process, the uncertainties of operating conditions and stress on power systems have increased even more. Thus, finding a feasible solution for the problem has become a still greater challenge. Even modern powerful optimization algorithms have been unable to find realistic solutions for the problem. In order to solve this kind of difficult problem, an optimization algorithm needs to have an unusual exploration ability as well as exploitation–exploration balance. In this study, we have presented an optimization model of the SCOPF problem involving wind and solar energy systems. This model has one problem space and innumerable local solution traps, plus a high level of complexity and discrete and continuous variables. To enable the optimization model to find the solution effectively, the adaptive guided differential evolution (AGDE) algorithm was improved by using the Fitness–Distance Balance (FDB) method with its balanced searching and high-powered diversity abilities. By using the FDB method, solution candidates guiding the search process in the AGDE algorithm could be selected more effectively as in nature. In this way, AGDE's exploration and balanced search capabilities were improved. To solve the SCOPF problem involving wind and solar energy systems, the developed algorithm was tested on an IEEE 30-bus test system under different operational conditionals. The simulation results obtained from the proposed algorithm were effective in finding the optimal solution compared to the results of the metaheuristics algorithms and reported in the literature.