Optimal active distribution network planning: a review

Yue Xiang, Junyong Liu, Furong Li, Yong Liu, Youbo Liu, Rui Xu, Yunche Su, Lei Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (SciVal)


The active distribution network is a new solution to the flexible utilization of distributed energy resources to suit the characteristics of the distribution network. Advanced “active” network management is to coordinate “generation, network, load” optimization and achieve the right balance between operational expenditure (OPEX) and capital expenditure (CAPEX). To demonstrate the advancement from introducing an active distribution network, the key features of distribution network planning mainly including traditional models is first introduced. Extensive literature in generic planning is then summarized and categorized in terms of objective functions, system modeling, solution algorithms, and tools. This is followed by an extended review and in-depth discussion of concepts and representative topic developments in optimal active distribution network planning. In contrast to traditional planning, it takes into account the effects from a range of active network interventions that are exercised at differing time scales while capturing the intrinsically stochastic behavior of renewable generation or demand response to produce strategic plans that are robust against a highly uncertain energy future. Finally, a multi-dimensional framework for optimal active distribution network planning is proposed to overcome the limitations of the current state of the art, and the challenges in each stage are also highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1075-1094
Number of pages20
JournalElectric Power Components and Systems
Issue number10
Early online date21 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • active management
  • distributed energy resources
  • distribution network planning
  • optimization
  • planning and operation
  • uncertainty


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