2019 Expansion planning and flexibility optimization (Competition & panel)

2019 Competition & panel: Emerging heuristic optimization algorithms for expansion planning and flexibility optimization in sustainable electrical power systems

The expansion planning and flexibility optimization of sustainable electrical power systems are facing higher complexity introduced by massive integration of variable renewable generation,  the increasing need of FACTS and HVDC devices for flexibility in highly interactive energy markets, responsive demand, and multi-energy sector coupling. Therefore, the expansion and flexibility management problems involved in investments decision making and operational planning need consideration of more accurate models such as non-linear models, probabilistic models, and a large number of decision variables. This entails mathematically complex and computationally expense formulations, which cannot be tackled by classical optimization tools.

The panel that took place in the 2019 IEEE PES GM in Atlanta introduced a new test bed concerning with optimal transmission expansion planning. The test bed is based on three benchmark systems to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of optimization algorithms in systems of different characteristics and size.  Also, the panel presented the results and a statistical comparative evaluation of the performance of different emerging heuristic optimization algorithms, which are developed by different researchers worldwide. The researchers were challenged to solve the cases of the test bed, which were treated as black-box problems. They were only allowed to improve the methodological framework of their algorithms.

The first three ranked algorithms were selected for presentation at the panel, for which only PowerPoint presentations were required. All interested participants were encouraged to send an email to by 15-12-2018, indicating their names, affiliation, and the algorithm to be used. The deadline for submission of results and codes was 01-03-2019.


The evaluation process finished on 30-03-2019. The top three ranked algorithms (sorted list):


DE-PBILc (Differential Evolution algorithm and the Continuous Population Based Incremental Learning algorithm) 


Edgar Morquecho. Universidad de Cuenca, Cuenca, Ecuador


CE+EPSO (Cross-Entropy Method and Evolutionary Particle Swarm Optimization)


Leonel Carvalho. INESC TEC, Porto, Portugal
Vladimiro Miranda. INESC TEC, Porto, Portugal and Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto – FEUP, Porto, Portugal
Armando Leite da Silva. Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro – PUC Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Carolina Marcelino. COPPE/Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Elizabeth Wanner. School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Birmingham, UK and Centro Federal de Educação de Minas Gerais – CEFET-MG, Minas Gerais, Brazil


Hybrid Evolutionary Particle Swarm Optimization


Phillipe Vilaça Gomes. Centre for Power and Energy Systems, INESC TEC, Porto, Portugal

João Tomé Saraiva. Centre for Power and Energy Systems, INESC TEC, Porto, Portugal



Organizers of the panel:

Chairman: Prof. José Rueda, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands (
Co-chair 1: Prof. Santiago Torres, University of Cuenca, Ecuador  (
Co-chair 2: Prof. Sergio Rivera, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia (


The details of the evaluation process and the order of the top 3 algorithms for each test bed was announced in the 2019 IEEE PES General Meeting.



The call for the competition can be downloaded here.

The document with problem definitions, implementation & submission guidelines, and the Matlab codes for the test beds can be downloaded here.


Presentations given in the“Emerging Heuristic Optimization Algorithms for Expansion Planning and Flexibility Optimization in Sustainable Electrical Power Systemspanel session at the 2019 IEEE PES GM

– 15PESGM3130-Test bed for optimal transmission expansion planning

Presenters: José Rueda Torres, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. Santiago Torres, Universidad de Cuenca

-15PESGM3496-Improvements in the CE+EPSO method for the transmission expansion planning problem

Presenter: Leonel Carvalho; INESC TEC

-15PESGM3497-Hybridization of Differential Evolution and Estimation of Distribution (DE/EDA) Algorithms to Solve the Transmission Network Expansion Planning

Presenters: Sergio Rivera; Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Edgar Morquecho; Universidad de Cuenca

-15PESGM3509-Transmission Expansion Planning using Evolutionary particle swarm optimization and Hill Climbing methods

Presenters: Leonel Carvalho; INESC TEC, Porto. Phillipe Vilaça Gomes; INESC TEC

-15PESGM3126-Evaluation of the performance of modern heuristic optimization algorithms on transmission expansion planning

Presenter: José Rueda Torres, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.


Codes of the top three algorithms

First place: DE-PBILc

Second place: CE+EPSO

Third place: Hybrid EPSO


Important dates:

Call for competition: 15 November 2018

Confirmation of participation: 15 December 2018

Submission of results and codes: 1 March 2019

The announcement of the best three ranked algorithms: 30 March 2019

2019 IEEE PES General Meeting: 4-8 August 2019 (see the call for papers here)