NESTA, The NICTA Energy System Test Case Archive


In recent years the power systems research community has seen an explosion of work applying operations research techniques to challenging power network optimization problems. Regardless of the application under consideration, all of these works rely on power system test cases for evaluation and validation. However, many of the well established power system test cases were developed as far back as the 1960s with the aim of testing AC power flow algorithms. It is unclear if these power flow test cases are suitable for power system optimization studies. This report surveys all of the publicly available AC transmission system test cases, to the best of our knowledge, and assess their suitability for optimization tasks. It finds that many of the traditional test cases are missing key network operation constraints, such as line thermal limits and generator capability curves. To incorporate these missing constraints, data driven models are developed from a variety of publicly available data sources. The resulting extended test cases form a compressive archive, NESTA, for the evaluation and validation of power system optimization algorithms.