Specialised branch-and-bound algorithm for transmission network expansion planning
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An algorithm is presented that finds the optimal plan long-term transmission for till cases studied, including relatively large and complex networks. The knowledge of optimal plans is becoming more important in the emerging competitive environment, to which the correct economic signals have to be sent to all participants. The paper presents a new specialised branch-and-bound algorithm for transmission network expansion planning. Optimality is obtained at a cost, however: that is the use of a transportation model for representing the transmission network, in this model only the Kirchhoff current law is taken into account (the second law being relaxed). The expansion problem then becomes an integer linear program (ILP) which is solved by the proposed branch-and-bound method without any further approximations. To control combinatorial explosion the branch- and bound algorithm is specialised using specific knowledge about the problem for both the selection of candidate problems and the selection of the next variable to be used for branching. Special constraints are also used to reduce the gap between the optimal integer solution (ILP program) and the solution obtained by relaxing the integrality constraints (LP program). Tests have been performed with small, medium and large networks available in the literature.