Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Advanced methodology and tools taking advantage of storage and FLEXibility in transmission and distribution grid PLANning

Project description

Storage and flexibility as an alternative to traditional grid designing

The rapid development of renewable energy sources (RES) poses new complex challenges for transmission and distribution network design. Network investments require a long building period and could even result in outdated infrastructures when works are completed. New technologies like storage and flexible use of existing demand could potentially reduce this risk and allow overall costs reduction. The EU-funded FlexPlan project aims to create a new instrument that will improve transmission and distribution grid design. It is based on a new approach that considers storage facilities and flexibility as an alternative to traditional grid designing. These technologies could help reducing operating costs as well as limit potential environmental impacts. The new instrument will be proven and then used in six regional frameworks to estimate the role that storage and flexible resources can play. Final product of the project will be the elaboration of regulatory guidelines destined to policymakers.


The current high-speed deployment rate of non-programmable Renewable Energy Sources (RES) is making transmission network planning activities more and more complex and affected by a high level of uncertainty. Because network investments are capital intensive and the lifetime of the infrastructure spans several decades, it may happen that when a new line is commissioned it is no longer the best option and it might be partially regarded as a stranded cost. There is an on-going debate on the selection of the more effective technologies that could contribute to system flexibility. This category doesn’t only include grid technologies, but also storage elements and flexible demand, both located in transmission or provided by opportunely aggregated distributed energy sources located in distribution networks.
FlexPlanning aims at creating a new tool for optimizing transmission and distribution grid planning, considering the placement of flexibility elements as an alternative to traditional grid planning. This approach aims at helping to reduce overall power system costs i.e. infrastructure deployment and operation costs, the latter in terms of procurement of energy and system services.
FlexPlan is going to take into account environmental impact and footprint (impact on air quality for thermal generation, carbon footprint, impact on landscape of new T&D lines).
A pre-processing tool is also created to determine location, size and associated costs for storage and flexible demand candidates.
The new planning tool is first validated and then used for analysing six detailed regional scenarios at 2030-2040-2050 in order to assess the potential role of storage and flexible resources.
Pan-European scenarios are preliminarily elaborated in order to provide border conditions for the regional cases.
Regulatory conclusions are drawn to analyse whether opportune incentivisation procedures could be put in place by the regulators wherever some consistent advantages are demonstrated.

Call for proposal


See other projects for this call

Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 845 125,00
Via raffaele rubattino 54
20134 Milano

See on map

Nord-Ovest Lombardia Milano
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (14)