The rate of load growth in Iran is around 6%. The country's distribution utilities are faced with rapid network development to supply all of the new customers. Design and implementation of the network expansion in a tight time scale requires sufficient basic information and adequate planning tools. In some areas, utilities are unable to keep pace with the fast development and, often, the planned network expansion plans lack technical and economic justification. Such an environment can result in underdesigning, where the network soon will become overloaded, or overdesigning, where the capacity installed is far greater than the connected load. Apart from imposing additional costs on the distribution utility, underdesigning also results in excessive network losses.

Tavanir Co., a power generation, transmission and distribution management company in Iran, has promoted a number of loss-reduction projects, which have resulted in a 2.5% reduction of total losses in recent years. However, the ratio of electrical energy losses in distribution networks has reached 16% of the total energy generated.

A priority of the Iranian Ministry of Energy is to assist utilities with their network problems by optimizing network planning through considering the load pattern, rate of load growth and life-cycle costs. This task was assigned to the Niroo Research Institute (NRI), the country's principal power research organization. Established in 1982, NRI is responsible for developing new technologies and software for the electricity supply industry.