Power System Planning Consultant

Published onDecember 4, 2020

Abt Associates, a global leader in technical assistance, program implementation and international development, seeks qualified individual consultants, to provide services for the USAID Clean Power Asia program for a Power System Planning Consultant to review, understand, and evaluate transmission plans and how they will facilitate power trade, in particular interconnections between Southeast Asian countries, with a focus on specific pairs of countries in the Lower Mekong. Optional tasks are included which focus on standards and processes for transmission planning, operations and maintenance.

The primary objective of USAID Clean Power Asia is to work with Lower Mekong (LM) countries and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) developing member states to encourage power sector investments in environmentally friendly, clean energy sources, specifically focusing on scaling up investment in grid-connected renewable power. USAID Clean Power Asia is a program funded by USAID and implemented by Abt Associates. When any reference is made to approvals or authorizations, it will be stipulated whether those decisions are contractually made by USAID or Abt Associates as implementer. As the client, any decisions made by USAID and communicated to Abt Associates are final.


USAID Clean Power Asia works to promote renewable energy (RE) in Lower Mekong countries and throughout Southeast Asia by collecting and documenting data, identifying tools, supporting RE analysis and planning, and increasing stakeholder’s understanding of planning for higher levels of renewable energy. Promoting higher amounts of renewable energy requires the improved availability and quality of RE data and tools for analysis, including technical and economic potential, RE zones, and grid integration studies. The program supports the establishment and updating of national renewable energy targets and the integration of these targets into power development plans and integrated resource plans for the power sector. USAID Clean Power Asia works to rationalize the planning and development of renewable energy by linking it to the transmission planning process through supporting designation of renewable energy zones.

Scope of Work

Abt Associates aims to have an in-depth understanding of data, tools and approval processes for transmission planning in Lower Mekong countries. Abt Associates requires the consultant to review transmission plans and interconnection analysis completed, especially those completed by JICA and in the ADB-supported GMS studies. The consultant will analyze the studies that are the basis of the infrastructure plans in the ACMECS infrastructure Strategy and the USAID Clean Power Asia-supported AIMS III study. S/he will compare and analyze the pros and cons of transmission infrastructure recommended by the JICA, GMS, ACMECS, AIMS III, and other studies in terms of facilitating bilateral and multilateral trade. The consultant will analyze the existing and potential transmission lines identified in various studies in terms of their importance in facilitating power trade, the technical barriers to synchronizing country grid systems to enable power trade, and global best practices to overcome those barriers.

The Power System Planning Consultant will review and summarize previous transmission planning studies and plans conducted for the LM countries and for Southeast Asia; regulations related to planning and O&M; and analyze pros and cons of identified interconnection projects. This will require reviewing JICA transmission studies and plans conducted in specific countries, the AIMS III study, and the underlying analysis of transmission lines identified in the ACMECS infrastructure plan. The consultant will also analyze the necessity and benefit of specific interconnection lines proposed between Laos and Vietnam, and conduct specific research and analysis related to the interconnections proposed from China into Laos and Vietnam (included in the GMS studies and other studies), and the interconnections identified in the ACMECS studies that have been prioritized by Thailand. Several optional tasks are included as well, including desk studies on the transmission planning processes in LM countries. Options include a study of data, tools and approval process in country and for export/import; synthesizing information from other Southeast Asia studies on transmission planning and operations; summarizing global best practices related to transmission planning/analysis; and implications for ASEAN & Lower Mekong countries specifically.

Closing date:December 16, 2020