This work investigates simulation-based (SB) and direct transcription (DT) optimization approaches for the transient operation of natural gas pipelines. We present a Julia package, that we call TransientGasOpt.jl, to facilitate the implementation of hybrid strategies that can leverage the benefits of both approaches. Specifically, hybrid strategies can leverage the ability of SB to handle high-fidelity simulation models and can exploit the versatility of DT to accommodate sophisticated optimization formulations that include integer decisions and different types of constraints. We demonstrate the developments using large transmission planning problems.

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