Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering


Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Lizhi Wang


This dissertation consists of two published journal paper, both on transmission expansion planning, and a report on distribution network hardening.

We first discuss our studies of two optimization criteria for the transmission planning problem with a simplified representation of load and the forecast generation investment additions within the robust optimization paradigm. The objective is to determine either the minimum of the maximum investment requirement or the maximum regret with all sources of uncertainty explicitly represented. In this way, transmission planners can determine optimal planning decisions that are robust against all sources of uncertainty. We use a two layer algorithm to solve the resulting trilevel optimization problems. We also construct a new robust transmission planning model that considers generation investment more realistically to improve the quantification and visualization of uncertainty and the impacts of environmental policies. With this model, we can explore the effect of uncertainty in both the size and the location of candidate generation additions. The corresponding algorithm we develop takes advantage of the structural characteristics of the model so as to obtain a computationally efficient methodology. The two robust optimization tools provide new capabilities to transmission planners for the development of strategies that explicitly account for various sources of uncertainty.

We illustrate the application of the two optimization models and solution schemes on a set of representative case studies. These studies give a good idea of the usefulness of these tools and show their practical worth in the assessment of ``what if'' cases. We compare the performance of the minimax cost approach and the minimax regret approach under different characterizations of uncertain parameters. In addition, we also present extensive numerical studies on an IEEE 118-bus test system and the WECC 240-bus system to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed decision support methods. The case study results are particularly useful to understand the impacts of each individual investment plan on the power system's overall transmission adequacy in meeting the demand of the trade with the power output units without violation of the physical limits of the grid.

In the report on distribution network hardening, a two-stage stochastic optimization model is proposed. Transmission and distribution networks are essential infrastructures to modern society. In the United States alone, there are there are more than 200,000 miles of high voltage transmission lines and numerous distribution lines. The power network spans the whole country. Such vast networks are vulnerable to disruptions caused by natural disasters. Hardening of distribution lines could significantly reduce the impact of natural disasters on the operation of power systems. However, due to the limited budget, it is impossible to upgrade the whole power network. Thus, intelligent allocation of resources is crucial. Optimal allocation of limited budget between different hardening methods on different distribution lines is explored.

Copyright Owner

Bokan Chen



File Format


File Size

94 pages