Recent years have seen an increasing integration of distributed renewable energy resources into existing electric power grids. Due to the uncertain nature of renewable energy resources, network operators are faced with new challenges in balancing load and generation. In order to meet the new requirements, intelligent distributed energy resource plants can be used which provide as virtual power plants e.g. demand side management or flexible generation. However, the calculation of an adequate schedule for the unit commitment of such distributed energy resources is a complex optimization problem which is typically too complex for standard optimization algorithms if large numbers of distributed energy resources are considered. For solving such complex optimization tasks, population-based metaheuristics -- as e.g. evolutionary algorithms -- represent powerful alternatives. Admittedly, evolutionary algorithms do require lots of computational power for solving such problems in a timely manner. One promising solution for this performance problem is the parallelization of the usually time-consuming evaluation of alternative solutions. In the present paper, a new generic and highly scalable parallel method for unit commitment of distributed energy resources using metaheuristic algorithms is presented. ... mehrIt is based on microservices, container virtualization and the publish/subscribe messaging paradigm for scheduling distributed energy resources. Scalability and applicability of the proposed solution are evaluated by performing parallelized optimizations in a big data environment for three distinct distributed energy resource scheduling scenarios. The new method provides cluster or cloud parallelizability and is able to deal with a comparably large number of distributed energy resources. The application of the new proposed method results in very good performance for scaling up optimization speed.