A novel control approach is proposed to optimize the fatigue distribution of wind turbines in a large-scale offshore wind farm on the basis of an intelligent agent theory. In this approach, each wind turbine is considered to be an intelligent agent. The turbine at the farm boundary communicates with its neighbouring downwind turbines and organizes them adaptively into a wind delivery group along the wind direction. The agent attributes and the event structure are designed on the basis of the intelligent agent theory by using the unified modelling language. The control strategy of the intelligent agent is studied using topology models. The reference power of an individual wind turbine from the wind farm controller is re-dispatched to balance the turbine fatigue in the power dispatch intervals. In the fatigue optimization, the goal function is to minimize the standard deviation of the fatigue coefficient for every wind turbine. The optimization is constrained such that the average fatigue for every turbine is smaller than what would be achieved by conventional dispatch and such that the total power loss of the wind farm is restricted to a few percent of the total power. This intelligent agent control approach is verified through the simulation of wind data from the Horns Rev offshore wind farm. The results illustrate that intelligent agent control is a feasible way to optimize fatigue distribution in wind farms, which may reduce the maintenance frequency and extend the service life of large-scale wind farms. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.