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In this contribution, a method for evaluating and minimizing network related costs for distributed generation in an objective manner is presented. The network optimization tools used provides functionality to realize long-term cost-efficient integration of distributed generation. Besides, short-term measures for connecting distributed generation to an existing network with minimum financial effort can be determined as well. To evaluate costs related to distributed generation, minimal costs for networks with integrated distributed generation are calculated and compared in two steps. In the first step, cost-efficient networks for a given supply area with distributed generation are determined in a green-field approach, neglecting existing assets. In the second step, costs for stranded investments-e.g. existing overhead lines or cables that are not used in cost-efficient networks that have been calculated beforehand-are considered during optimization as well. In this contribution, an exemplary rural supply area is considered for presenting the functionality of the method. Stranded costs due to the integration of distributed generation into medium voltage networks are discussed.