Transmission Planning, Policy and Regulations Firm

Published onDecember 4, 2020

Abt Associates, a global leader in technical assistance, program implementation and international development, seeks Transmission Planning, Policy and Regulations Firm to provide analysis of power system planning, grid codes, and regulations to support regional power trade and VRE integration in Southeast Asia.

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 in all of 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

Power System Planning

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 also 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 planner consultant(s) 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 interconnection projects identified. 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 planner(s) 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.

Grid Codes and Regulations

The grid codes and regulations consultant(s) will conduct a desk study of various international reports, studies, and publications related to grid codes in Southeast Asia, focused on facilitating improved stability and reliability; interconnected systems and power trade; and integrating more variable renewable energy into the grid. Documents to review include, but are not limited to:

  • Analyses of grid codes in the Lower Mekong prepared under the Asian Development Bank- ADB’s GMS program
  • JICA reports on medium-term power plans and grid codes
  • Reports by the International Energy Agency (IEA)
  • A report conducted by German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH (GIZ) on existing grid codes in select SE Asian countries and gap analyses
  • Other documents as determined by Abt Associates in consultation with the consultant(s)

The consultant will synthesize the information; prepare a gap analysis of Southeast Asian grid codes in terms of facilitating bilateral and multilateral power trade as well as increasing the share of variable renewable energy in power production in each country; provide recommendations to Abt Associates on critical issues to be addressed; and make technical recommendations on grid code changes and institutional changes required to implement the recommendations. While the focus is on all Southeast Asian countries, particular attention should be paid to remaining gaps for the Lower Mekong countries.

S/he is also expected to provide a framework for improving grid codes to facilitate expanded bilateral power trade among Southeast Asian countries, i.e., developing a strategy for providing technical assistance to Southeast Asian countries and to ASEAN to improve grid codes and strengthen relevant institutions. The consultant will work with the power system planner(s) consultant(s) to coordinate with JICA and prepare presentations on the analysis. Lastly, s/he will write a scope for a firm to analyze all relevant technical and regulatory barriers to bilateral and multilateral trade.

Qualifications / Requirements

Firms may propose a combination of senior, mid-level and junior staff or consultants, as appropriate, to fulfill the requirements of the scope of work. The proposals must include at least one senior power system planning expert and at least one senior grid codes and regulations expert.

Closing date:December 16, 2020