A shortage of large power system data sets, as well as the frequent restrictions on sharing such models, have led to newfound interest in creating synthetic data that can be easily shared among researchers. This paper considers the problem of forming a power system test case from the constituent parts of realistic power grid samples. Starting from a topology, and samples of generation, load, and branches, we assemble systems while respecting the constraints imposed by a typical Optimal Power Flow problem. Expressed in this manner, the problem involves solving for permutations of the input data. Since permutations matrices are binary, the problem is linearized, allowing for a Mixed Integer Linear Problem formulation. The problem is further decomposed using the Alternating Direction Method of Multipliers as well as an Evolutionary Algorithm to facilitate scaling to larger system sizes. A post processing step is used to add shunt elements for reactive power planning. The resulting systems demonstrate statistically similar power flow behavior to reference systems. Finally, new analysis avenues, opened by synthesizing test cases according to the proposed method, are briefly introduced by creating fictitious systems with different topology models and examining how these affect power flow behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
StateAccepted/In press - Aug 3 2018


  • Assignment Problem
  • Geography
  • Impedance
  • Linearized Power Flow
  • Load flow
  • Load modeling
  • MILP
  • Synthetic Test Cases
  • Testing
  • Topology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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