Renewable portfolio standards prescribe for penetration of high amounts of re-newable energy sources (RES) that may change the structure of existing power systems. The load growth and changes in power flow caused by RES integration may result in re-quirements of new available transmission capabilities and upgrades of existing transmis-sion paths. Construction difficulties of new transmission lines can become a problem in certain locations. The increase of transmission line thermal ratings by reconductoring using High Temperature Low Sag (HTLS) conductors is a comparatively new technology introduced to transmission expansion. A special design permits HTLS conductors to operate at high temperatures (e.g., 200oC), thereby allowing passage of higher current. The higher temperature capability increases the steady state and emergency thermal ratings of the transmission line. The main disadvantage of HTLS technology is high cost. The high cost may place special emphasis on a thorough analysis of cost to benefit of HTLS technology im-plementation. Increased transmission losses in HTLS conductors due to higher current may be a disadvantage that can reduce the attractiveness of this method. Studies described in this thesis evaluate the expenditures for transmission line re-conductoring using HTLS and the consequent benefits obtained from the potential decrease in operating cost for thermally limited transmission systems. Studies performed consider the load growth and penetration of distributed renewable energy sources according to the renewable portfolio standards for power systems. An evaluation of payback period is suggested to assess the cost to benefit ratio of HTLS upgrades. The thesis also considers the probabilistic nature of transmission upgrades. The well-known Chebyshev inequality is discussed with an application to transmission up-grades. The Chebyshev inequality is proposed to calculate minimum payback period ob-tained from the upgrades of certain transmission lines. The cost to benefit evaluation of HTLS upgrades is performed using a 225 bus equivalent of the 2012 summer peak Arizona portion of the Western Electricity Coordi-nating Council (WECC).