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Multiple criteria decision making techniques applied to electricity distribution system planning

P. Espie, G.W. Ault, G.M. Burt and J.R. McDonald Abstract: An approach is described for electricity distribution system planning that allows issues such as load growth, distributed generation, asset management, quality of supply and environmental issues to be considered. In contrast to traditional optimisation approaches which typically assess alternative planning solutions by nding the solution with the minimum total cost, the proposed methodology utilises a number of discrete evaluation criteria within a multiple criteria decision making (MCDM) environment to examine and assess the trade-offs between alternative solutions. To demonstrate the proposed methodology a worked example is performed on a test distribution network that forms part of an existing distribution network in one UK distribution company area. The results conrm the suitability of MCDM techniques to the distribution planning problem and highlight how evaluating all planning problems simultaneously can provide substantial benets to a distribution company.

Introduction

The choice of a particular planning solution has traditionally been determined by performing network analysis to assess when the power ows in a circuit or substation exceed designated capacities and then calculating the economic and nancial implications associated with each possible solution. The solution that provides the optimum cost (i.e. provides the minimum economic and nancial impact) would then be selected for implementation [16]. In todays demanding environment issues such as distributed generation, asset management, quality of supply and environmental implications are now becoming as important as load growth and must also be included in the distribution planning activity. However, the inclusion of such issues in the planning process using traditional techniques would require many of these factors to be converted to an equivalent cost, which may prove difcult since they are not naturally cost variables. A logical solution to this problem is to consider techniques that are explicitly designed to deal with multiple criteria. Previous work has shown that electricity distribution system planning can be formulated as a multiple criteria problem [712]. However, in a number of these approaches the capital cost of each solution is directly included within the multiple criteria evaluation [7, 8]. This can introduce a signicant aw into the resulting desirability order with the result that solutions with a poor technical performance (in terms of reliability, environmental impact etc.) may be rewarded on account of their low capital cost, and expensive solutions that are very desirable, technically, will receive poorer desirability scores. The inclusion of the capital cost criterion within a multiple criteria environment

effectively masks the technical benets that each solution can provide. Nevertheless, the capital cost of each solution is an extremely important attribute and must be considered during the planning decision process. This paper proposes a method of distribution system planning where multiple criteria decision making (MCDM) techniques are adopted to assess the suitability and desirability of alternative planning solutions. Each alternative solution is assessed using a number of MCDM evaluation criteria and a separate capital cost is also calculated for each solution. This approach ensures that the technical benets of each solution are not obscured by the associated solution capital cost. By comparing the cost of each solution with a capital budget a most desirable solution can be determined. Alternatively, a cost/benet analysis can also be performed to identify the planning solution with the highest desirability score per cost value. Conclusions can also be drawn relating to the distribution network and to specic network problems by examining in detail the options used to construct each solution. 2 Distribution system planning incorporating MCDM The proposed planning methodology begins with traditional tasks such as identifying the area of the distribution network under evaluation and determining the relevant horizon year and planning period. All relevant problems relating to the distribution network within the planning period must then be identied (e.g. new network connections, replacement of poor condition equipment etc.). Within the context of this paper problems are assumed to represent specic network issues such as an overloaded or unreliable circuit. Options are the measures available to the utility planner to address each problem and a solution is composed of a group of options. Note that to ensure the development of a robust planning solution consideration should also be given to problems or potential problems that might occur, even if the probability of this happening is very small. The tasks within the proposed planning methodology are illustrated in Fig. 1 and will now be discussed.
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r IEE, 2003 IEE Proceedings online no. 20030618 doi:10.1049/ip-gtd:20030618 Paper rst received 10th June 2002 and in revised form 19th February 2003. Online publishing date: 31 July 2003 The authors are with the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Institute for Energy and Environment, University of Strathclyde, 204 George Street, Glasgow, UK IEE Proc.-Gener. Transm. Distrib., Vol. 150, No. 5, September 2003

distribution network for analysis preliminary investment budget asset condition database environmental constraints regulatory requirements quality of supply issues problem set: develop options for problem set overloaded equipment distributed generation locations quality of supply problems equipment condition issues environmental requirements

horizon year / planning period load forecasting new network connections distributed generation

input specification

perform initial network analysis

produce feasible alternative solution

annual energy losses capacity constraints environmental impact

capital costs select evaluation criteria system security supply availability

network electrical characteristics annual customer load curves equipment failure rates equipment restoration times economic data NO

perform analysis to supply criteria data

solution characteristics: annual MW h losses capacity constraints, MW h security of supply supply availability environmental impact investment cost

all feasible solutions been assessed? YES MCDM analysis

review of results / comparision of designs

final design components / strategic planning decisions

Fig. 1

Flow chart of proposed planning methodology

2.1

Develop problem option set

With knowledge of the expected and potential problems, a set of options that address each problem must be specied. For an overloaded circuit this may consist of a choice of circuit capacities and construction types as well as a choice of routing. Consideration should also be given to solution options that address two or more problems simultaneously. Note also that the equipment selected must have the ability to serve consumers within statutory voltage limits and adhere to security standards [13] and may therefore require screening through network analysis before consideration.

2.2

Construct feasible solution

Once all options have been specied for each existing and expected network problem, a solution can then be produced for evaluation. A solution is dened as a set of one or more options addressing all the problems identied. Note that each solution must incorporate at least one option from the set specied for every identied problem.

proposed planning framework six evaluation criteria have been selected but this does not restrict the inclusion of additional criteria if required for particular planning studies. For example, depending on the type of loads and distributed generation connected to the distribution network it may be necessary to perform an analysis of harmonic distortion. In this case an additional criterion could be easily included to measure the total harmonic distortion associated with each planning solution (assuming that a number of the options considered within the solutions have varying impacts on network harmonic distortion). In other cases the unique set of characteristics that need to be considered in a particular planning study may be difcult to quantify in either cost terms or technical units. In this case additional criteria could still be included in the planning decision process specically to deal with qualitative assessments of the performance of the alternative planning solutions.

2.3

Select evaluation criteria

2.3.1 Capital cost: Capital cost is an important factor


when assessing alternative planning solutions. With the proposed methodology this is a summation of the costs involved in implementing each of the options selected for
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To allow each possible planning solution to be assessed a number of evaluation criteria must be specied. In the
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each identied problem plus any ongoing costs related to implementation or other operational aspects associated with the distribution network. The cost of each option (and solution) should be expressed either as the current cost of implementation or as the future-worth equivalent at the end of the planning period (horizon year), converted using a present-worth calculation [14].

of customer interruptions does not become excessive while simultaneously ensuring that the number of customer minutes lost is also of an acceptable value.

2.3.4 Annual energy losses: The aim of the annual


energy losses criterion is to provide an accurate assessment of the power losses associated with each planning solution. In this example only the real power losses associated with each solution will be calculated. However, because MCDM allows the use of criteria with signicantly different units of measurement, reactive power losses could also be assessed if desired.

2.3.2 Capacity constraints: One way of dealing with the annual load growth uncertainty is to consider several possible load scenarios and assess each planning solution to identify where the system capacity remains below the forecasted scenario load [7]. In the proposed methodology the consequence of adverse scenarios is determined by performing a power ow calculation for each feasible solution for all load scenarios. If a particular item of equipment is overloaded (in one scenario) then the nearest load is reduced until the overload is removed. If this calculation is performed for a number of loading intervals (representing the annual load curve) a gure for the annual curtailed demand can be obtained for each solution. 2.3.3 System security and supply availability: A
key criterion within any planning methodology is the impact of each solution on distribution network reliability, an issue of particular importance to large industrial connected customers as even short supply interruptions may result in signicant downtime and associated cost penalties. The approach adopted here to evaluate the impact of each solution on network reliability is to calculate both system security and supply availability (each as a separate criterion) according to the denitions proposed by the UK Ofce of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM) [15]. This has the advantage (over alternative reliability worth techniques) that actual reliability indices are calculated and used instead of having to determine an economic gure based on the cost of customer interruptions. System security is calculated as [15]:
number of customers interrupted per 100 connected customers the sum of the number of customers interrupted for all incidents 100 the number of connected customers

2.3.5 Environmental impact: An important issue


that must be considered by all distribution companies when carrying out any engineering work is the likely environmental impact. The methodology adopted for this criterion is to consider the total circuit length of new or modied network circuits. For each new or modied circuit, the length will be weighted to represent the likely environmental impact associated with the visual obstruction and implementation of each circuit type and route. This weighted length will then be summed over all new or modied circuits to determine a weighted value for each planning solution.

2.4

Generate criteria data

The number of customers interrupted per incident is determined by removing each network circuit and transformer, individually, and calculating the load not supplied. This gure can then be converted into the number of customers that are interrupted per annum by multiplying by the equivalent annual failure rate for this device. Note that all equipment outages are assumed to require replacement of a faulted component and that once the component is replaced supply is immediately restored. The impact of network automation is also not considered in this calculation. Supply availability is calculated as [15]:
average customer minutes lost per connected customer the sum of the customer minutes lost for all restoration stages for all incidents the number of connected customers

Having specied the relevant evaluation criteria, data must be generated describing the performance of each solution in each criterion. A combination of software packages has been used for this task (Fig. 2), including Power System Simulator for Engineering (PSS/E), Matlab and Microsoft Excel (which co-ordinates the whole process). The combination of these three packages produces a exible software tool that can be easily modied to include other analysis features (e.g. fault analysis or total harmonic distortion calculations). This combination of software tools also allows the process of generating alternative solution congurations and calculating values for each criterion to be automated, reducing unnecessary user interaction. For a typical case study example such as that described in Section 3 the software system will take approximately 1 hour on a PC with an up-to-date specication to perform the criteria data generation. For a much larger sized network it may take several hours to perform the criteria data generation. However, this will still provide a reasonable degree of freedom to study the impact of variations in input data. It should be noted that although the MCDM analysis task is also performed in a software environment this task has not yet been integrated within the developed software system and consequently is not shown in Fig. 2.

2.5

MCDM analysis

The customer minutes lost per incident is calculated by multiplying the number of customers interrupted for each device outage (from security calculation) by a corresponding restoration time. Note that only one restoration stage is considered for each incident. Note also that system security and supply availability are both considered as it is essential to ensure that the number
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The MCDM technique used within the proposed planning methodology is the simple multi-attribute rating technique (SMART) [16]. The desirability of each alternative solution is determined by calculating a decision score in each criterion and multiplying this by the weight value assigned to that criterion by the distribution system planner. The total decision score for each alternative solution is then determined using a linear additive-value function to sum the individual scores for each criterion [16]. The alternative that produces the highest weighted score over all criteria can then be considered to be the most desirable solution. The consideration of evaluation criterion weight values is perhaps the most contentious issue associated with the application of MCDM techniques as the chosen weight values will have direct impact on the resulting solution
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calculate:

solution capital cost environmental impact EXCEL

network electric data failure rates restoration times cost data

system security annual energy supply availability losses capacity constraints

network electric data

Matlab

PSS/E

annual network loading profile

Fig. 2

Developed software system

desirability scores. A number of tasks can however be carried out to ensure that the planning solution(s) recommended by the multiple criteria analysis are suitably robust: First, an initial set of weight values can be used in the MCDM analysis that are identied through a structured knowledge capture with planning engineers and other stakeholders to arrive at a consensus through discussion. Dedicated techniques are available for this purpose to elicit weight values from individuals, teams and organisations [17]. To ensure that the planning solutions recommended are indeed robust, a sensitivity analysis can then be performed on the initial criteria weight values. This sensitivity analysis can take the form of an ad hoc assessment where random or logical variations on the criteria weight values are assessed. Alternatively, the sensitivity of the criteria weight values can be evaluated by developing an importance rank-order for the evaluation criteria. This rank-order should be easier to determine than specic weight values since no indication is needed of how much more important one criteria is compared to another, only whether it is more important or not. Equations are then developed representing the feasible region of criteria weight values [18] which are subsequently analysed to identify the most extreme points of the feasible region. By performing the MCDM analysis using the weight values identied from the extreme feasible region points the desirability score of each solution for these extreme weight points can be identied. The recommended planning solution(s) identied from the initial criteria weight values can then be compared with the results of the extreme criteria weight region to determine the sensitivity of these desirability scores to extreme variations in criteria weight values.

addition, it is also necessary to examine the constitution of the top performing solutions to allow strategic decisions to be made. Once a decision has been made as to the most suitable horizon year planning solution, the process can then be repeated using a number of intermediate years to determine when the equipment that forms the most desirable horizon year solution should be installed (i.e. generation of a dynamic planning solution). 3 Worked example

The application of the proposed planning methodology to a test network based on an existing distribution network in one UK distribution company area will now be presented.

3.1

Example distribution network

The test network (Fig. 3) is composed of seven load centres, representing the accumulated load of the 11 kV distribution network at each connection point, as well as 17 existing transformers and a number of existing underground cables and overhead lines. To allow the impact of uncertainty owing to network load growth to be taken into account three load scenarios will be considered for the planning period, which is assumed to be 10 years. The three load scenarios represent approximate annual load growth of slightly below (1%), above (1.8%) and signicantly above (2.7%) the UK national average load growth of 1.2% predicted by the National Grid Company for the coming years [19]. The equivalent load at each 11 kV connection point for the three load scenarios is shown in Table 1.

3.2

Identied network problems

2.6

Review of results and decision making

With decision scores calculated, the solutions can then be compared with the preliminary capital budget (specied by the system planner) to determine the range of solutions that can be implemented. While all solutions with a cost equal to or less than the capital budget can be implemented it is also necessary to consider the remaining solutions as well. This is because the cost/desirability ratio of some of the solutions that have a cost greater than the budget may actually be higher than for any of the solutions within the budget. In
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With the initial network data known, all relevant planning problems relating to the distribution network during the planning period must be identied (Table 2). Table 2 also highlights the number of possible option combinations for each identied planning problem which yields 1728 alternative solution congurations for the test distribution network.

3.3 Generation of data for each solution conguration


Having specied the evaluation criteria it is necessary to generate the data describing the impact of each solution. This will require consideration and assessment of data such as network electrical characteristics, annual customer load curves,
IEE Proc.-Gener. Transm. Distrib., Vol. 150, No. 5, September 2003

GRID 400 kV

132 kV

132 kV

potential - 5 MW 33 kV

~
3500

11302

11 kV 3501

potential - 5 MW 33 kV

~
11326 11 kV 11310

potential - 2 MW

11 kV

11320

11 kV 11307 11 kV 11330 11 kV

u/g cable o/h line 11315 11 kV

Fig. 3

Test distribution network

Table 1: Equivalent load at 11 kV network connection points


Annual network load growth 1% Bus ID 11302 11307 11310 11315 11320 11326 11330 MW 61.79 24.56 8.97 27.94 38.38 23.03 30.90 MVAr 12.55 4.99 1.82 5.67 7.79 4.68 6.27 1.8% MW 67.41 26.80 9.79 30.48 43.61 25.12 33.70 MVAr 13.69 5.44 1.99 6.19 8.86 5.10 6.84 2.7% MW 73.02 29.03 10.61 33.02 45.36 27.21 36.51 MVAr 14.83 5.89 2.15 6.70 9.21 5.53 7.41 MW 56.17 22.33 8.16 25.40 34.89 20.93 28.09 MVAr 11.41 4.53 1.66 5.16 7.08 4.25 5.70 Existing load

equipment failure rates and restoration times, and a number of economic parameters are required (see Figs. 1 and 2). An example of the data generated by the combined software system is shown in Table 3 for a selected number of solution congurations for the 2.7% annual load growth scenario.

Table 2: Identied planning issues for test distribution network


Problem No. of option combinations 6 2 3 4 3 4

3.4

Multiple criteria decision making

4 transformers are overloaded at peak demand in at least one load scenario 1 transformer needs replacement due to poor condition 2 circuits are overloaded at peak demand in at least one load scenario 2 circuits need or are expected to need replacement due to poor condition 1 11 kV load is currently experiencing poor reliability 2 locations are being considered for installation of distributed generation-a third location is being considered as a possible option to solve the identied reliability problem Total number of possible solutions:

To allow the desirability of each solution to be determined, criteria weight values must be specied indicating the importance of each attribute. The criteria weights assigned to each criteria are shown in Table 4 and have a value between 0 and 10, with 10 being the most desirable value. It should be noted that the capital cost criterion has not been assigned a weight value as it is not explicitly considered during the MCDM analysis. This criterion will however be considered at a later stage when it becomes necessary to assess the economic facets of each planning solution.

3.5

Results

The resulting desirability scores for each of the 1728 possible solution congurations are shown in Figs. 4, 5
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Table 3: Evaluation criteria data values for selected solutions, 2.7% annual load growth
Energy losses MW h System security No. interruptions/ 100 connected customers 6.64 6.37 6.34 6.07 6.58 6.31 6.28 6.01 4.99 4.72 4.69 4.42 4.93 4.66 4.63 4.36 4.83 4.55 4.53 4.25 Supply availability CML per connected customer 150.12 134.00 128.47 112.24 150.00 133.88 128.36 112.13 141.86 125.74 120.22 103.99 141.74 125.62 120.10 103.87 139.52 123.40 117.88 101.65 Capacity constraints MW h unsupplied Environmental impact Weighted length circuit Investment cost d 000

Solution1 Solution2 Solution3 Solution4 Solution5 Solution6 Solution7 Solution8 Solution9 Solution10 Solution11 Solution12 Solution13 Solution14 Solution15 Solution16 Solution17 Solution18 Solution19 Solution20

17420.24 17470.41 17401.69 17496.41 17410.24 17515.94 17444.39 17553.24 14606.08 14632.43 14584.32 14657.32 14647.84 14674.76 14627.79 14700.81 14817.09 14924.13 14891.04 14923.8

23.40 23.40 110.18 110.18 23.40 23.40 110.18 110.18 23.26 23.26 109.80 109.80 23.26 23.26 109.80 109.80 23.26 23.26 109.80 109.80

0.27 1.04 1.19 1.95 0.27 1.04 1.19 1.95 0.68 1.44 1.59 2.36 0.68 1.44 1.59 2.36 3.42 4.18 4.34 5.10

2580 2053 2040 1513 2930 2403 2390 1863 15353 14826 14813 14286 15703 15176 15163 14636 13884 13357 13343 12816

1.00 0.90 0.80 0.70 desirability score 0.60 0.50 0.40 0.30 0.20 0.10 0 101 201 801 901 1001 1101 1201 1301 1401 1501 1601 1701 solution number

301 401

501 601

701

Fig. 4

Desirability scores: 1% annual load growth

and 6 for the 1%, 1.8% and 2.7% annual load growth scenarios.

3.5.1 Individual scenario results: It is evident from


comparison of Figs. 4, 5 and 6 that the desirability scores for the three load scenarios are broadly similar. However there is a distinctive pattern present in Figs. 5 and 6, at the start of every 144 solutions, which is missing from Fig. 4. When the annual load growth is 1% per annum, even at the end of the planning period there are no equipment overloads at the maximum demand level. However, if the load increases at 1.8% or 2.7% per annum then, at the
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maximum demand level, a number of capacity constraints do exist. Since loss of capacity or curtailed demand is heavily penalised (see Table 4) each solution that incurs some loss of capacity receives a substantial reduction in desirability score.

3.5.2 Overall desirability scores: In order that the


overall desirability of each solution can be assessed it is necessary to combine the results from each individual scenario. Although there are a number of techniques that can be used to combine the results from several scenarios [20], in this example only a weighted average of the
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1.00 0.90 0.80 0.70 desirability score 0.60 0.50 0.40 0.30 0.20 0.10 0 1 201 301 401 501 601 701 801 901 1001 1101 1201 1301 1401 1501 1601 1701

101

solution number

Fig. 5

Desirability scores: 1.8% annual load growth

1.00 0.90 0.80 0.70 desirability score 0.60 0.50 0.40 0.30 0.20 0.10 0 1 101 201 301 401 501 601 701 801 901 1001 1101 1201 1301 1401 1501 1601 1701 solution number

Fig. 6

Desirability scores: 2.7% annual load growth Table 4: Evaluation criteria weights for test distribution network
Criterion Capacity constraints System security Supply availability Annual energy losses Environmental impact Weight value 9 5 5 6 8

desirability scores has been considered. A probability value is rst assigned to each scenario representing the likelihood of occurrence (all three scenarios are assumed to have the same probability in this study). An overall desirability score can then be obtained for each solution by weighting the scores obtained for each of the three scenarios by the corresponding probability value. The weighted average desirability scores for this case study are shown in Fig. 7.

3.5.3 Analysis of overall desirability results: A


feature common to the desirability scores of each scenario and the weighted average results is the pattern that is repeated every 432 solutions (see Fig. 7). The rst 432 solutions (shown in range A) have been assessed with 5 MW of distributed generation at both nodes 3500 and 3501: see Fig. 3. The second and third groups of solutions (ranges B and C) have only one 5 MW distributed generator at node 3501 or 3500, respectively. The nal group of solutions (range D) have no distributed generation at node 3501 or 3500. It is evident from these results that in each solution the two 5 MW generators at nodes 3500 and 3501 always produce higher desirability scores than when no generation is
IEE Proc.-Gener. Transm. Distrib., Vol. 150, No. 5, September 2003

Although capital cost is not included in the MCDM analysis (and consequently has no MCDM weight value) it is included in the planning decision process by comparing both the capital cost and generated desirability score of each planning solution.

considered. In addition, even a single distributed generator at node 3501 or 3500 (range B or C) produces more desirable results than when no generation is considered at these nodes. The total number of solutions can be further broken down into smaller groups of 144 solutions, as shown in
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A 1.00 0.90 0.80 0.70 desirability score 0.60 0.50 0.40 0.30 0.20 0.10 0 1 101 X A1 A2 A3 Z

201 301 401 501 601 701

801 901 1001 1101 1201 1301 1401 1501 1601 1701

solution number

Fig. 7

Weighted average desirability scores

ranges A1, A2 and A3 of Fig. 7. These three smaller groups of solutions represent the impact of three different options used to address the network reliability problem identied in Table 2. The rst 144 solutions (in ranges A, B, C and D) are obtained by replacing the transformer that supplies node 11310. The solutions shown in range A2 require construction of another circuit and refurbishment of the transformer supplying node 11310. However, since the environmental impact associated with the visual obstruction and implementation of a new circuit is high (see Table 4) these solutions have poorer desirabilty scores than simply replacing the transformer. The range of solutions shown in A3 also involves refurbishing the transformer supplying node 11310 but also includes a 2 MW distributed generator at the same node. Clearly this is the most preferred option as it improves the security and availability at this node but does not have a signicant environmental impact. It should be noted that the distributed generator at node 11310 is assumed to have a non-stochastic output and can be relied upon to supply the load if required. It is also assumed that interconnection at 11 kV will prevent the islanding of node 11310 if the 33 kV network connection fails. One of the problems identied in the test distribution network is that a 17.5 km 132 kV underground cable is overloaded in the high load growth scenario. Replacing this component with a higher capacity device is extremely expensive and costs approximately d10.5 M. However, is this additional expenditure actually necessary? Point X of Fig. 7 highlights the highest desirability score that can be achieved without this 132 kV upgrade, which is 0.81. This score was obtained with 5 MW of generation at nodes 3501 and 3500 and 2 MW of generation at node 11310. The highest score obtained without generation but including the 132 kV underground circuit upgrade is 0.73 (point Y in Fig. 7). Thus, if one or more distributed generators of suitable size can be incentivised by the distribution company to locate at some specic points within the distribution network, it is possible that the upgrading of the 132 kV underground circuit can be avoided, or at very least deferred until some time after the end of the planning period. Also worth noting is the highest weighted average score obtained in this particular example by solution 432 which is 0.9 (point Z in Fig. 7). The inclusion of distributed
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generation has allowed a solution to be generated that has a desirability score some 23% higher than the highest score achievable without distributed generation.

3.5.4 Most desirable solution: If a capital budget of d5M is specied for the test distribution network then the solution with the highest available desirability score, that is the most desirable solution that can be implemented, is solution 388 which has a score of 0.82. However, if the desirability of each solution is divided by the associated capital cost a ratio indicating the desirability per dM (economic efciency) can be obtained (see Fig. 8). The most economically efcient planning solution will provide the highest availability desirability score for a given cost value and will almost certainly not equate to either the solution with the lowest cost (as desirability will be low) or the solution with the highest available desirability (as the capital cost will be very high). From examination of Fig. 8 it is evident that the solution with the highest desirability per cost ratio is solution 292, which has an average desirability score of 0.67. Thus, in this worked example the distribution company could implement either the solution that has the highest desirability (within the given capital budget), solution 388, or implement the solution that is the most cost effective choice and provides the best value for money, which is solution 292.
4 Conclusions

A new approach to distribution system planning has been proposed that allows alternative planning solutions to be evaluated using a true multiple criteria methodology which may or may not include cost orientated variables. In addition, it has been proposed that all distribution-related problems in a particular network area, such as equipment capacity, condition, performance, reliability and environmental issues are evaluated simultaneously, ensuring the development of a robust planning solution. The proposed planning methodology has been presented and tested on a small section of an existing UK distribution network. The results show that evaluating all planning problems simultaneously can provide substantial benets to a distribution company, not only in terms of improving the desirability of possible solutions but also by potentially
IEE Proc.-Gener. Transm. Distrib., Vol. 150, No. 5, September 2003

0.60

0.50

0.40 desirability / M

0.30

0.20

0.10

0 1 101 201

301 401 501

601 701

801 901 1001 1101 1201 1301 1401 1501 1601 1701

solution number

Fig. 8

Weighted average desirability/dM

deferring network investment. The impact of different capital budgets can also be easily assessed, since the cost of implementation is de-coupled from the technical benets that each solution can provide. A key distribution company benet of this approach is the ability to make strategic planning decisions relating to both the whole distribution network and also particular planning problems. For example, analysis may identify several different options that can be implemented for a particular planning issue depending on the scenario or future that actually occurs. The proposed planning methodology can therefore provide a distribution company with a signicant insight into the decision-making process for distribution system planning, ensuring that a solution(s) can be determined that is robust or exible enough to cope with future developments. 5 References

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