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Regulatory Implications for considering flexible resources in network expansion planning: main lessons from regional cases in the H2020 FlexPlan project


The FlexPlan Horizon2020 project aimed at establishing a new grid planning methodology which considers the opportunity to introduce new storage and flexibility resources in electricity transmission and distribution grids as an alternative to building new grid elements, in accordance with the intentions of the European Commission regulatory package "Clean Energy for all Europeans". FlexPlan creates a new innovative grid planning tool which is intended to go beyond the state of the art of planning methodologies by including the following innovative features: assessment of best planning strategy by analysing in one shot a high number of candidate expansion options provided by a pre-processor tool, simultaneous mid- and long-term planning assessment over three grid years (2030-2040-2050), incorporation of full range of cost benefit analysis criteria into the target function, integrated transmission distribution planning, embedded environmental analysis (air quality, carbon footprint, landscape constraints), probabilistic contingency methodologies in replacement of the traditional N-1 criterion, application of numerical decomposition techniques to reduce calculation efforts and analysis of variability of yearly RES and load time series through a Monte Carlo process. Six regional cases covering nearly the whole European continent are developed in order to cast a view on grid planning in Europe till 2050. The final step in FlexPlan was formulating guidelines for regulators and planning offices of system operators, by indicating to what extent system flexibility can contribute to reduce overall system costs (operational and investment) yet maintaining current system security levels and which regulatory provisions could foster such process. This paper focuses on the regulatory issues, which were uncovered during the initiation phase and of the project and refined in throughout six regional cases. In order to substantiate this, the paper explains in brief the developed and applied FlexPlan methodology and its testing in six regional cases.


Academic article


  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 257626
  • EC/H2020 / 863819





  • SINTEF Energy Research / Energisystemer
  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • University of Leuven



Published in

Open Research Europe





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