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Transmission network expansion planning (TNEP) has become increasingly challenging due to the worldwide transformation of power systems, with the fast deployment of renewable energies as one of the key drivers. Given current socio-environmental concerns, building new lines to integrate new renewable energy sources may take several years and has a significant risk of delays and cost overruns. A sound strategy to achieve a more adapted expansion plan is to include the option of uprating existing lines among planning candidates. This paper presents a novel model for multi-year stochastic TNEP considering line uprating options, such as line reconductoring, voltage uprating, and adding series compensation, along with adding new lines, simultaneously. Compared to adding new lines, line uprating can be performed with low out-of-time service and has lower socio-environmental impact, thus being a cost-effective alternative, especially in cases where acquiring new right-of-ways is difficult and expensive. Illustrative results demonstrate that including line uprating options within the TNEP problem allows us to obtain more economic expansion plans with fewer new line projects in comparison to traditional approaches. This in turn results in less environmental impact of the optimal expansion plan, which makes construction permissions easier to obtain, thus reducing the risk of having delays and cost overruns. Additionally, considering line uprating options also helps the integration of renewable energies by deferring investment decisions until more information regarding future development of renewable energies becomes available.


Alvarez, Ricardo;  Rahmann, Claudia;  Cifuentes, Nicolas;  Palma-Behnke, Rodrigo

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