Due to great challenges from aggressive environmental regulations, increased demand due to new technologies and the integration of renewable energy sources, the energy industry may radically change the way the power system is operated and designed. With the motivation of studying and planning the future power system under these new challenges, the development of the new tools is required. A network equivalent that can be used in such planning tools needs to be generated based on an accurate power flow model and an equivalencing procedure that preserves the key characteristics of the original system. Considering the pervasive use of the dc power flow models, their accuracy is of great concern. The industry seems to be sanguine about the performance of dc power flow models, but recent research has shown that the performance of different formulations is highly variable. In this thesis, several dc power-flow models are analyzed theoretically and evaluated numerically in IEEE 118-bus system and Eastern Interconnection 62,000-bus system. As shown in the numerical example, the alpha-matching dc power flow model performs best in matching the original ac power flow solution. Also, the possibility of applying these dc models in the various applications has been explored and demonstrated. Furthermore, a novel hot-start optimal dc power-flow model based on ac power transfer distribution factors (PTDFs) is proposed, implemented and tested. This optimal-reactance-only dc model not only matches the original ac PF solution well, but also preserves the congestion pattern obtain from the OPF results of the original ac model. Three improved strategies were proposed for applying the bus-aggregation technique to the large-scale systems, like EI and ERCOT, to improve the execution time, and memory requirements when building a reduced equivalent model. Speed improvements of up to a factor of 200 were observed.